Rafael Nadal Australian Open 2022 - Budding bromance with Liverpool FC star

‘Nadal is from another planet but he is not my favourite’ admits former top 10 rival

While he asserts that Rafael Nadal is a true tennis phenomenon, Fabio Fognini has revealed he is a Roger Federer fan through and through. 

Like so many, the former world number nine and 2019 Monte Carlo Masters champion is in awe of Nadal and his achievement of securing a 21st Major crown at the Australian Open last month.

Fognini identifies with Nadal’s style of play, pointing to similarities between them, particularly the importance of movement to their respective games.

“We are not hitters, our game is set on running and if do not do well you must work so hard,” the Italian, who defeated Nadal on the way to his 2019 Monte Carlo title, told La Gazetta dello Sport.

“For a champion like him on the one hand it is easy, because mentally he is really from another planet.

“After what he has been through, his result really leaves you speechless and you can’t do anything but admire it.

“He doesn’t give up, Rafa. 

“You just have to knock him down.

“He consumes you, physically and mentally, I’m proud to have beaten him in Monte Carlo.

“Only Djokovic and Federer have managed to stop his competitive fury.”

Fognini went on to tell La Gazetta that he thinks Djokovic will be as motivated as ever to continue winning Majors after Nadal’s triumph at the Australian Open.

When asked which of Djokovic or Nadal he preferred, Fognini answered as follows.

“They are unrepeatable phenomena in the history of tennis.

“Don’t hold it against me Rafa (Nadal) and Nole (Djokovic), but I was born and I remain a ‘Federiano’.

“If I have to buy a ticket, I buy it to see Roger.”

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