Fabio Fognini (Italian pronunciation: [ˈfaːbjo foɲˈɲiːni]; born 24 May 1987) is an Italian professional tennis player and the current Italian No. 2. His career-high singles ranking is world No. 13, achieved in March 2014, and world No. 7 in doubles, achieved in July 2015. Fognini's most successful surface is red clay, upon which he won his four ATP singles titles in Stuttgart, Hamburg, Viña del Mar and Umag, reached the quarterfinals of the 2011 French Open and the semifinals of the 2013 Monte-Carlo Masters. Together with Simone Bolelli, Fognini won the 2015 Australian Open doubles event, becoming the first all Italian men's pair to win a Grand Slam title in the Open era.
Fognini was born to Silvana and Fulvio, a businessman, and his younger sister. He began playing tennis when he was four years old and is also a fan of football, supporting Inter Milan and Genoa FC. He also enjoys motorbike racing and is a fan of Valentino Rossi. Fognini speaks Italian, English, Spanish, and French, and his nickname is "Fogna".
As a junior, Fognini posted a singles win/loss record of 72–36. He achieved a combined ranking of No. 8 in the world in May 2004, reaching the quarterfinals of both the Australian Open and French Open.
Fognini began his professional career by playing a variety of Futures and Challenger tournaments, winning his first Futures title in 2005 at Spain No. 1 and another at Italy No. 9. In 2005, he also finished runner-up at Italy No. 3 and qualified for his first ATP Challenger tournament at Palermo. During 2006, Fognini had moderate success at Challengers and, after qualifying, made his debut on the ATP World Tour at Buenos Aires. He was defeated in the first round by former World No. 1 Carlos Moyá, the eventual champion.
2007: Breaking the top 100
In 2007, Fognini made some real progress on the ATP Tour, notably when he qualified for the 2007 French Open to make his first appearance in a Grand Slam event. He lost in the first round to World No. 35 Juan Mónaco in five sets. In addition, he had a fantastic tournament at the 2007 Rogers Masters in Montreal, Canada. Having qualified for the tournament, he defeated Peter Polansky in the first round, before taking out the 13th seed Andy Murray in straight sets. Fognini was halted by World No. 1 Roger Federer in the third round.
On the ATP Challengers circuit, Fognini made the finals in Santiago, Sanremo, and Fürth, losing in three-set battles each time. Partnering Frederico Gil, he also lost in the doubles final of the Fürth Challenger. He finished the year ranked in the top 100 for the first time at No. 94.
2008: First doubles final
Fognini lost a five-set first-round encounter against Michael Russell in the 2008 Australian Open.
During the South American clay swing, he reached the quarterfinals of Viña del Mar (defeating second seed clay-court specialist Juan Ignacio Chela in the first round) and the semifinals of Costa Do Sauipe.
After missing the 2008 French Open due to injury problems, Fognini reached the semifinals of both Warsaw and Umag (beating former World No. 1 and French Open champion Carlos Moyá), whilst also winning the Turin and Genova challengers, further enhancing his clay pedigree.
2009: San Benedetto title
In April 2009, Fognini reached the third round of the 2009 Monte-Carlo Masters as a qualifier, upsetting Tomáš Berdych (after losing the first set 1–6) and 14th seed Marin Čilić (for the loss of only two games). Fognini then played a typically topsy-turvy match with World No. 4 Andy Murray, losing in two tight sets after being up 5–0 in the first set. In July, Fognini won the San Benedetto Challenger title defeating Cristian Villagran in the final.
2010: 50 wins
A remarkable win during this season was against the 13th seed Gaël Monfils at the 2010 French Open by also coming from two sets to love down in a match that spanned two days. In June 2010, Fognini followed up his vein of good form as he defeated Fernando Verdasco, the 8th seed, in the first round of Wimbledon without dropping serve the entire match.
2011: Grand Slam quarterfinal
In 2011 Fognini achieved a number of breakthroughs. He reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam event for the first time at the 2011 French Open. He defeated Denis Istomin in the first round and qualifier Stéphane Robert in the second. In the third round, Fognini beat Guillermo García-López, the 30th seed, in four sets to advance to his first Grand Slam fourth round. Here, he made the quarterfinals in dramatic fashion as he beat Spaniard Albert Montañés in a match lasting 4 hours and 22 minutes. Barely able to walk at the end, Fognini eventually prevailed and clinched the epic match 11–9 in the fifth set. After the match, he described his run at the French Open as a "little dream", maintaining that he "would love to play the next match ... even if I'm only at 50 percent". He was due to face World No. 2 Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals but, prior to the match, he announced that he had made the "difficult" decision to withdraw on doctors' advice that it would be "dangerous" to play. Nonetheless, Fognini became the first Italian man in the French Open quarterfinals since 1995 and the first to reach that stage at a Grand Slam since 1998. His achievement saw him rise to a then career-high singles ranking of World No. 32.
With Simone Bolelli, Fognini reached the semifinals of the 2011 US Open men's doubles.
2012: First ATP finals
After numerous ATP semifinal appearances, Fognini finally reached his first career final at Bucharest in April 2012, ousting fifth seed Marcos Baghdatis and sixth seed Andreas Seppi along the way. He finished runner-up to top seed Gilles Simon.
At the 2012 French Open, he was once again the subject of much drama, saving two match points while battling past the seeded Viktor Troicki in five sets to advance to the third round for the third successive year. He subsequently lost to World No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a match with considerable shot-making flair and variety. In the Croatia Open, Fabio lost to defending champion Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine in the second round.
Fognini began his grass season by reaching the quarterfinals of Eastbourne, defeating fourth seed Bernard Tomic along the way, and falling to eventual tournament winner Andy Roddick in a tight three-set match. At Wimbledon, he defeated experienced grass-courter Michaël Llodra in the first round and again lost to the eventual tournament winner, Roger Federer, in the second round. In the London 2012 Olympics, Fognini was drawn against Novak Djokovic in the first round. He valiantly took the first set after being down 3–5 and saving three set points, before finally succumbing in three sets.
Starting the North American summer outdoor hard-court season by qualifying for both the Toronto and Cincinnati Masters, Fognini went on to reach the third round of the US Open, a career-best performance. In the first round, he ousted Édouard Roger-Vasselin in a trademark five-setter, coming back from two sets down. The second round was a routine straight-sets win over Guillermo García-López. Fognini's run again ended at the hands of crowd favourite Andy Roddick in a dramatic match (in which he notably out-aced the American) in four sets. Roddick had announced after his first-round win that he was retiring upon conclusion of the tournament, adding to the drama.
The start of the indoor hard-court season saw Fognini reach his second final of the year at St. Petersburg, finishing runner-up to Martin Kližan.
2013: ATP titles and Top 20 ranking
Fognini was defeated by Roberto Bautista-Agut in five sets in the first round of the 2013 Australian Open. He and Bolelli embarked on another deep Grand Slam run in the doubles, reaching the semifinals, where they lost to the World No. 1 pair, Bob and Mike Bryan.
He reached his first singles quarterfinal of the season at Buenos Aires, losing to top seed David Ferrer in straight sets (whilst winning the doubles alongside Bolelli). The next week, Fognini achieved a career-best performance at ATP 500 events with a semifinals showing in Acapulco, defeating Stanislas Wawrinka along the way and again losing to Ferrer (but this time taking a set). Just over a week later, Fognini set up a clash with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, after defeating Aljaž Bedene for the second time in three weeks to reach the second round of the Indian Wells Masters. After being bagelled in the first, Fognini wildly celebrated upon winning his first game in the second, heroically taking the set from 2–4 down. He subsequently lost the third. In Miami, Fognini was seeded at a Masters event for the first time in his career, earning a bye to the second round. He defeated Michaël Llodra, and lost to Ferrer again in the third round.
The start of the European clay season saw Fognini gain another top 20 victory, defeating fellow Italian Andreas Seppi in the first round of the Monte Carlo Masters in a typically tumultuous affair with an almost complete lack of momentum. He carried on his rich vein of form to straight-set both Albert Ramos and No. 4 seed Tomáš Berdych (his second victory over the Czech in Monte Carlo) to reach his first career quarterfinal in a Masters event. Here, Fognini played another amazing match to beat Richard Gasquet, his second top-10 victory in a row, in straight sets to reach the semifinals of a Masters for the first time, projecting his ranking to a new career-high of World No. 24. In the semifinals, he failed to gain any real rhythm, losing to World No. 1 Djokovic. In Madrid, Fognini was involved in another highly unorthodox match, losing in a final set tiebreak to Mikhail Youzhny in the first round. He served for the match in the third set and three match points. Fognini then lost nine points in a row, only to save two match points himself. In the tiebreak, he went up a minibreak, lost five points in a row, won four in a row and lost. At the French Open, he lost in the third round to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.
Fognini began his grass-court season at the 2013 Aegon International held at Eastbourne, where he was seeded eighth. He defeated Grega Zemlja and Martin Klizan, both from a set down, before falling to Ivan Dodig in the quarterfinals. At Wimbledon, Fognini lost in the first round to Jürgen Melzer, after leading by a set and a break.
At the 2013 MercedesCup in Stuttgart, Fognini reached his third career final, defeating top seed and home favourite Tommy Haas en route. He won his maiden title, by beating second seed, Philipp Kohlschreiber, in three sets. The following week, after an outstanding performance at 2013 International German Open, Fognini improved his winning streak to 10 wins in a row, entering the ATP top 20 for the first time (also regaining the Italian No. 1 spot). He defeated Albert Ramos, Marcel Granollers and hometown hero Tommy Haas for the second time in two weeks to reach the semifinals. Here, Fognini beat Nicolás Almagro in straight sets to reach his second ATP World Tour final in a row, the first one in an ATP 500 tournament. He won the title by beating qualifier Federico Delbonis in three sets, recovering from 1–4 down in the second set and saving three match points in the second set tiebreak. He reached his third tour final in as many weeks at Umag, defeating Thiemo de Bakker, Martin Kližan and Gaël Monfils en route. The latter saw Fognini serving for the match having won the first five games, then losing six straight games, and then winning in a tiebreak. His 13-match winning streak was ended in the final by Tommy Robredo, whilst his ranking rose to a new career-high of World No. 16.
Seeded No. 14 in Cincinnati, Fognini was down a set and four games to Radek Stepanek. He proceeded to mount a comeback to four-all, and serving to stay in the match, he served two double faults, received a point penalty for ball abuse and then casually committed consecutive foot faults to get broken to love and lose the match.
During the Asian hardcourt swing, Fognini reached the quarterfinals of Beijing, defeating resurgent veterans Tommy Robredo and Lleyton Hewitt (the latter for the loss of only 2 games). In the quarters, he was dominating World No. 2 Rafael Nadal by a set and three love, before eventually losing in three sets. In the following weeks, he again defeated Robredo en route to the third round of the Shanghai Masters and reached the quarterfinals of Vienna and Valencia.
2014: Third ATP title
At the Australian Open, Fognini was seeded 15th. He reached a career-best performance of the fourth round, defeating Alex Bogomolov, Jr., Jarkko Nieminen and Sam Querrey, before falling to three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic.
As the top seed at the Chile Open in Viña del Mar, he reached his first singles final of the season (and fourth in a row in clay tournaments) defeating Aljaž Bedene, Jérémy Chardy and 3rd seed Nicolás Almagro en route. The latter was a classically unorthodox affair, with Fognini leading 5–2 in the final set, squandering two match points, only to eventually win in a tiebreak. He defeated Leonardo Mayer in the final, converting his fifth match point for his third career title. This took Fabio's record on clay to 19–1 since the French Open and resulted in yet another leap in the rankings, to a new career-high of World No. 14.
2015: 200 wins and three victories over Nadal
Fognini started his 2015 season at the Hopman Cup, partnering Flavia Pennetta. Italy failed to reach the final, finishing at the bottom of their group. The following week, he played at the Apia International Sydney as the top seed, but was unlucky to draw defending champion Juan Martín del Potro, who was returning from an eleven-month injury lay-off, in his first match. He lost in three sets. He beat Rafael Nadal in the Semifinals of the Rio Open before losing in the final to David Ferrer. In April, he beat Rafael Nadal again in the third round of the Barcelona Open, but he again lost in the next round to Pablo Andujar. In May, after defeating Steve Johnson and Grigor Dimitrov, he lost to Tomáš Berdych in the third round of the Rome Masters. At the US Open, Fognini beat Steve Johnson and Pablo Cuevas to advance to the third round where he caused a major upset, beating Rafael Nadal in five sets, coming from two sets and a break of serve down in both the third and fourth sets. In that match, Nadal won the first two sets, and previously had been 151-0 in Grand Slam matches that he led two sets to none. Earning 70 winners, Fognini ended up beating Nadal in five sets. Consequently, the early exit in Flushing Meadows ended Nadal's record 10-year streak of winning at least one major, and leaving him one year short of the record 11-year streak of reaching at least one major final (shared by Lendl and Sampras). Fognini advanced to the fourth round where he lost to Feliciano López.
2016: Fourth career title
Fognini won his fourth ATP title at July's 2016 Croatia Open at Umag.
Fognini guided Italy into the quarterfinals of the 2013 Davis Cup World Group, defeating Ivan Dodig in the fifth and decisive rubber against Croatia. It was the first time Italy had reached that stage since 1998. He also guided Italy past Argentina to the quarterfinals the following year, winning both singles rubbers against Juan Mónaco and Carlos Berlocq, and the doubles rubber (partnering Simone Bolelli). In the quarterfinals in Naples against Great Britain, Fognini equalled the tie at 2–2 after defeating reigning Wimbledon champion Andy Murray in a straight sets win (after defeating James Ward two days previous), proving vital to Italy making the semifinals with an eventual 3–2 victory. This was only the second time Murray had lost a singles rubber in the Davis Cup (after his first appearance ever in 2005). In the semifinal against Switzerland he lost both his singles rubbers to Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka. His defeat to Federer was enough to put the Swiss in an unassailable 3–1 lead for the tie.
Fognini currently uses the Babolat Pure Drive Racquet strung with Babolat RPM Blast strings. His grip is Babolat Vs Original, and he endorses Adidas apparel and shoes. He wears the adizero III shoes and the adizero clothing line.
Style of play
A clay-court specialist, Fognini is known for his streaky temperament as well as his flair, speed and movement across the court. He has been known to lose his cool on occasion; yet on others, he has shown that he is capable of maintaining a strikingly balanced disposition when facing adversity. He holds the record for committing the most foot faults whilst still winning a match: a grand total of 12, including double-faulting due to consecutive foot faults. Fognini's serve is relatively underpowered and hardly a trademark weapon, but he places emphasis on precision and placement, whilst also having the ability to hit above 130 mph on occasion. Known for his baseline play and big ground strokes despite his relatively small stature, one of his signature shots is his off forehand, which he uses to great effect, his tactic of play usually consisting of a serve out wide, drawing a weak return, setting Fognini up to hit a clean winner off the forehand side. He also utilises the backhand down-the-line frequently, often in key moments/points during a match.
Since 2014, Fognini has been in a relationship with fellow Italian WTA tennis player, 2015 US Open women's singles champion Flavia Pennetta. The couple got engaged in 2015 and the two were married in Ostuni on 16 June 2016. They were expecting their first child together.
Grand Slam finals
Doubles: 1 (1 title)
|Outcome||Year||Championship||Surface||Partner||Opponents in the final||Score in the final|
|Winner||2015||Australian Open||Hard||Simone Bolelli|| Pierre-Hugues Herbert |
Masters 1000 finals
Doubles: 3 (3 runners-up)
|Runner-up||2015||Indian Wells||Hard||Simone Bolelli|| Jack Sock |
|6–4, 6–7(3–7), [10–7]|
|Runner-up||2015||Monte Carlo||Clay||Simone Bolelli|| Bob Bryan |
|Runner-up||2015||Shanghai||Hard||Simone Bolelli|| Raven Klaasen |
ATP career finals
Singles: 12 (4 titles, 8 runners-up)
|Outcome||No.||Date||Tournament||Surface||Opponent in the final||Score in the final|
|Runner-up||1.||29 April 2012||BRD Năstase Ţiriac Trophy, Bucharest, Romania||Clay||Gilles Simon||4–6, 3–6|
|Runner-up||2.||23 September 2012||St. Petersburg Open, St. Petersburg, Russia||Hard (i)||Martin Kližan||2–6, 3–6|
|Winner||1.||14 July 2013||Stuttgart Open, Stuttgart, Germany||Clay||Philipp Kohlschreiber||5–7, 6–4, 6–4|
|Winner||2.||21 July 2013||International German Open, Hamburg, Germany||Clay||Federico Delbonis||4–6, 7–6(10–8), 6–2|
|Runner-up||3.||28 July 2013||ATP Vegeta Croatia Open Umag, Umag, Croatia||Clay||Tommy Robredo||0–6, 3–6|
|Winner||3.||9 February 2014||Royal Guard Open, Viña del Mar, Chile||Clay||Leonardo Mayer||6–2, 6–4|
|Runner-up||4.||16 February 2014||Copa Claro, Buenos Aires, Argentina||Clay||David Ferrer||4–6, 3–6|
|Runner-up||5.||4 May 2014||BMW Open, Munich, Germany||Clay||Martin Kližan||6–2, 1–6, 2–6|
|Runner-up||6.||22 February 2015||Rio Open, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||Clay||David Ferrer||2–6, 3–6|
|Runner-up||7.||2 August 2015||International German Open, Hamburg, Germany||Clay||Rafael Nadal||5–7, 5–7|
|Winner||4.||24 July 2016||ATP Vegeta Croatia Open Umag, Umag, Croatia||Clay||Andrej Martin||6–4, 6–1|
|Runner-up||8.||23 October 2016||Kremlin Cup, Moscow, Russia||Hard (i)||Pablo Carreño Busta||6–4, 3–6, 2–6|
Doubles: 12 (4 titles, 8 runners-up)
|Runner-up||1.||14 July 2008||Croatia Open Umag, Umag, Croatia||Clay||Carlos Berlocq|| Michal Mertiňák |
|6–2, 3–6, [5–10]|
|Runner-up||2.||27 February 2010||Abierto Mexicano Telcel, Acapulco, Mexico||Clay||Potito Starace|| Łukasz Kubot |
|Winner||1.||30 July 2011||ATP Studena Croatia Open, Umag, Croatia||Clay||Simone Bolelli|| Marin Čilić |
|6–3, 5–7, [10–7]|
|Runner-up||3.||14 April 2012||Grand Prix Hassan II, Casablanca, Morocco||Clay||Daniele Bracciali|| Dustin Brown |
|Winner||2.||24 February 2013||Copa Claro, Buenos Aires, Argentina||Clay||Simone Bolelli|| Nicholas Monroe |
|Runner-up||4.||2 March 2013||Abierto Mexicano Telcel, Acapulco, Mexico||Clay||Simone Bolelli|| Łukasz Kubot |
|Runner-up||5.||6 October 2013||China Open, Beijing, China||Hard||Andreas Seppi|| Max Mirnyi |
|Winner||3.||31 January 2015||Australian Open, Melbourne, Australia||Hard||Simone Bolelli|| Pierre-Hugues Herbert |
|Runner-up||6.||22 March 2015||BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, United States||Hard||Simone Bolelli|| Jack Sock |
|6–4, 6–7(3–7), [10–7]|
|Runner-up||7.||19 April 2015||Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, Monte Carlo, Monaco||Clay||Simone Bolelli|| Bob Bryan |
|Runner-up||8.||18 October 2015||Shanghai Rolex Masters, Shanghai, China||Hard||Simone Bolelli|| Raven Klaasen |
|Winner||4.||2 October 2016||Shenzhen Open, Shenzhen, China||Hard||Robert Lindstedt|| Olivier Marach |
Singles performance timeline
Current till 2016 Rogers Cup.
|Grand Slam tournaments|
|Davis Cup Singles||A||A||A||Z1||PO||1R||PO||PO||QF||SF||1R||7–3||70|
|ATP World Tour Masters 1000|
|Indian Wells Masters||A||A||Q2||2R||1R||2R||1R||A||2R||4R||2R||A||5–7||41.67|
|Monte Carlo Masters||A||A||Q1||A||3R||1R||2R||2R||SF||3R||2R||1R||11–8||57.89|
|Year End Ranking||305||257||95||88||54||55||48||45||16||20||21||$7,347,080|
a 2011 French Open counts as 4 wins, 0 losses. Novak Djokovic received a walkover in the quarterfinal, after Fognini withdrew because of muscle tear, does not count as a Fognini loss (nor a Djokovic win).
Doubles performance timeline
Current as far as the 2016 French Open.
|Grand Slam tournaments|
|Australian Open||2R||2R||2R||1R||2R||SF||2R||W||2R||1 / 9||15–7||68.18|
|French Open||A||2R||1R||2R||1R||1R||2R||SF||1R||0 / 8||7–8||50|
|Wimbledon||A||1R||1R||A||1R||1R||2R||1R||0 / 6||1–6||14.29|
|US Open||1R||1R||A||SF||1R||2R||1R||1R||0 / 7||5–7||45.45|
|Win–Loss||1–2||2–4||1–3||5–3||1–4||5–4||3–4||10–3||0–2||1 / 30||28–29||51.85|
Wins over top 10 players
|1.||Fernando Verdasco||9||Wimbledon, London, England||Grass||1R||7–6(11–9), 6–2, 6–7(6–8), 6–4|
|2.||Tomas Berdych||6||Monte Carlo, Monaco||Clay||3R||6–4, 6–2|
|3.||Richard Gasquet||9||Monte Carlo, Monaco||Clay||QF||7–6(7–0), 6–2|
|4.||Andy Murray||8||Davis Cup, Naples, Italy||Clay||RR||6–3, 6–3, 6–4|
|5.||Rafael Nadal||3||Rio Open, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||Clay||SF||1–6, 6–2, 7–5|
|6.||Rafael Nadal||4||Barcelona Open, Barcelona, Spain||Clay||3R||6–4, 7–6(8–6)|
|7.||Rafael Nadal||8||US Open, New York, United States||Hard||3R||3–6, 4–6, 6–4, 6–3, 6–4|