I’ll be honest, I’m not Fabio Fognini’s biggest fan.
The Italian has more often than not made the headlines for all the wrong reasons. In 2017 he got suspended from two majors and fined for sexist comments made to an umpire at the US Open.
He’s super talented but his behaviour has not been good enough.
One quarter final appearance at a major in 44 attempts, and now one Masters 1000 title. 8 of his 9 titles have come on clay, he is so good on the surface but his career numbers don’t stand up and it all starts with attitude.
This piece is far from me having a pop but more a frustration because he is undoubtedly one of the most talented clay court players we’ve seen on the tour these last 7/8 years and I feel like we’ve missed out.
14 top 10 career wins, 9 of them on clay but there isn’t consistency you’d hope for.
Fognini at his best is a delight to watch but you don’t know what you’re going to get. The body language can be up and down and if he begins to get lethargic his tennis goes from 9/10 to 1/10 quite quickly. When he is on form like he was in Monte-Carlo his backhand is a joy to watch and then next week it’s like turning on a tap and it’s someone different.
At the age of 31 he has potentially a lot still to give. 3 titles last year, Masters 1000 this year and now a career high ranking of 12 in the world. This chapter of his career is far from the final lap and it’s a crucial time now as it’s up to him what happens next.
Fognini has played over 600 matches but finding that consistent click has been an issue, imagine what could happen if he does find it now. Some players do find that click later in their careers like for example Wawrinka and I’m not comparing the two but Stan had much more of a levelled head and commitment than Fabio does.
What happens next? Fabio has a BYE for Barcelona so we won’t see him for a few days and then it is Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros. I hope this isn’t just a flash in a pan but something more for Fabio as he’s too good of a clay court player not be in the picture more often.