SFabio Fognini
Photo: atptour.com

Fabio Fognini

Fabio Fognini (born in 1987) is an Italian professional tennis player formerly ranked as the world's number 9. He has won nine ATP singles titles in his career. He was also one-half of the first all-Italian men's pair to win a Grand Slam in the Open era.

He remains one of the most enigmatic figures in world tennis. His technical skill as an aggressive right hand baseliner, twinned with many moments of controversy over the years, has always made him a player difficult to take your eyes away from.

Fognini was born in Sanremo to father Fulvio (a businessman) and mother Silvana (a housewife). Growing up he enjoyed football, supporting Inter Milan and Genoa.

He began to play tennis aged four and turned professional aged 17. In the same year, he secured a ranking of world number 8 for the Juniors, as well as reaching the Australia Open and French Open quarter-finals.

His breakout season was in 2015, when he won his first Grand Slam at the Australian Open doubles alongside Simone Bolelli. As well as winning the Monte Carlo Masters 2019, he has won nine ATP singles titles.

He is an attack-minded player who excels on clay. His powerful topspin shots are tough to contend with, as too his inside-out forehand, described as his ‘lethal weapon'. His shots have been known to hit 130 mph.

According to experts, his biggest weakness lies in the speed and heft of his serve. He also has a propensity to lose focus and concentration during a game. However, his strengths and temperament have helped him to win some important matches in his career.

His biggest win was beating the then-world number 1, Andy Murray, in Rome in 2017, during which they were involved in a heated verbal exchange. This was a year after he famously lost his cool during a match with Murray and ultimately, blew a 3-0 lead.

Fognini's great career has not been without controversy. In 2018, he was given a hefty fine and handed a suspended Grand Slam ban for verbally abusing an umpire. In his 2020 autobiography, he revealed how he and Andy Murray "despise each other on the tennis court". This followed a series of clashes during their eight head-to-heads, with one meeting culminating in Murray being caught on video telling Fognini to, "shut up!"

The Australian Open 2021 saw Fognini have an argument with fellow countryman Salvatore Caruso about comments Fognini made during the game.

In 2022's Hamburg Open, he and Aljaz Bedene had to be separated as they came to blows during a game.

Fognini speaks four languages: Italian, English, Spanish and French. He is married to 2015 US Open women's singles champion Flavia Pennetta, with whom he shares a home with in Arma di Taggia, eight miles from where he grew up. They have three children together; Federico, Farah and Flaminia.

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