Fabio Fognini - Miami Open 2017

Fabio Fognini claims he ‘doesn’t deserve’ to be left off Italian Davis Cup team

Fabio Fognini has expressed his disappointment at being left off the Italian Davis Cup team for the first time since 2007, as he claims there is ‘little respect’ for his previous achievements.

Fognini was made part of the provisional squad, but has been left out of the finalised team made by captain Filippo Volandri.

Volandri’s final team consists of Lorenzo Musetti, Lorenzo Sonego, Matteo Arnaldi, Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori, with the likes of Fognini, Jannik Sinner and Matteo Berrettini all missing.

Fognini took to social media to discuss his previous history at the tournament, “Many years have passed since my first time in blue in Montecatini, in 2008. Defending the blue colors and representing my country around the world has always been a priority, a dream come true.”

He continued, “Wearing the blue, feeling the warmth of the public, competing in packed arenas with our fans in tow even on unthinkable away games has always encouraged me to give 110%.

“And although the away games were tough and the season was very long, with ranking goals to be achieved, I never had any doubts: playing for Italy is the most rewarding thing in the world for an athlete and especially for me.”

The Davis Cup Finals Group Stage take place next week, with Italy as one of the host teams in a group consisting of reigning champions Canada, Sweden and Chile.

Fognini continued his rant,¬†“Now, on the eve of Davis’ umpteenth challenge, I find myself, in spite of myself, out of the squad. I read in some press organs that I would have decided and requested to take a step back, to rest and catch my breath. Fake and itchy!

“It was a demanding and exhausting year, but regardless, I purposely decided to take part in the Genoa Open Challenger, to arrive ready and energized for the matches in Bologna, in a historically favorable context for me, beyond the surface … in fact I’m a few kilometers from home, in a city where I grew up, I participate in a tournament won in the past, surrounded by the affection of friends and family, in short, the best for me at this precise moment.”

Fognini has regularly played doubles with Simone Bolelli, who he won the 2015 Australian Open title with, over the past year and revealed that was upon request by his captain.

“Here I knew that I would feel the warmth and affection needed to reach the top in Bologna. In unsuspecting times, despite what transpired, I communicated my desire to be part of the group for Bologna, placing myself at the captain’s disposal, who asked me to play doubles with my other national team mates in the meantime, which I duly did and to keep myself trained and on track,” explained the 36-year-old.

“And so I did and am doing, today more than ever I want to attack the ATP ranking again, win age and pain. A few weeks ago I was pre-called up and this made me happy and proud once again.”

Fognini concluded his rant by suggesting that his removal from the squad was sudden, “But then on Monday, while I was in Genoa, I got the captain’s call: suddenly I no longer fit into the plans, without justifiable explanations and in ways I didn’t share, with little respect for my history and my Azzurri past, because until the end I was told that I would be in the squad and available to take the field and for this reason I decided to train and play the Challenger to the fullest of my strength to be ready and available. I’m sorry that clarity and sincerity were not used. My story doesn’t deserve it.”

Italy will begin their 2023 Davis Cup campaign without Fognini on Wednesday against the reigning champions, Canada.

Fabio Fognini and his record at the Davis Cup

As Fabio Fognini vents his frustration, we at Tennishead have looked at the former top-10 singles and doubles player’s decorated history at the Davis Cup over the past 15 years:

Ties played: 30

Overall win-loss record: 35-20 (64%)

Singles win-loss record: 23-9 (72%)

Doubles win-loss record: 12-11 (52%)

Best Result: Semi-final (2014 & 2022)

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.