Player to Watch: Fabio Fognini

Photo by by Carine06 on Flickr

Photo by Carine06 on Flickr

Fabio Fognini has played tennis since the age of 4. Born in Sanremo, Italy in 1987, the right-handed Italian tennis player currently calls Arma di Taggia home when he’s not traveling for tournaments. Fognini is an avid football fan whose favorite player is Ivan Zamorano, and so when not on the courts, he loves catching a good football game. After turning pro in 2004, Fognini won two Future titles (Spain #1, Italy #9) in 2005, along with qualifying for his first ATP tournament in Palermo.

In the past decade, Fognini has steadily risen among the ATP ranks and is currently ranked 15th in the world in singles and 55th in doubles, as of April 2014. In 2013, he became the first Italian to break into the Top 20 ranked players since Corrado Barazzutti claimed the No. 10 spot in 1978. Last year was also a financial success as Fognini set an Italian record for most tournament prize money received in a year—$1,480, 993, to be exact. Over the span of his pro tennis career, he has received more than $4.5 million dollars in combined singles and doubles prize money.

However, Fognini didn’t break into the Top 100 singles players until 2007 at a ranking of No. 94, and in the same year he made his Grand Slam debut when he qualified at Roland Garros but lost to Juan Monaco. The following year, he stayed within the Top 100 and even made it to Wimbledon (losing to Marat Safin) and the U.S. Open (losing to Wayne Odesnik).

It wasn’t until 2011 that Fognini achieved a Top 50 status with a career high of No. 32 ranking and a personal best with winning 25 matches. He reached quarterfinals (Casablanca, Roland Garros) and two semi-finals (Santiago, Umag) in 2011. And his stats have only continued to improve as months and years pass.

In 2013, Fognini boasted a 13-match winning streak and catapulted from No. 31 to No. 16 ranking in merely three weeks. In 11 tournaments, Fognini moved on to quarterfinals or higher (one on grass, three on hard courts, and seven on clay courts) and won back-to-back ATP titles in Germany. He closed out 2013 winning 42 matches, which was a career high for him. With such a successful previous year, Fognini will be a player to keep an eye on to see if he can break into the Top 10 in 2014. Fognini ‘s tennis coach is Jose Perias, and his fitness trainer is Javier Capitaine.


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