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Fognini : « Le football était incroyable, mais le tennis m’a donné la responsabilité que je voulais »

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Sur l’excellent compte Behind The Racquet, c’est au tour de Fabio Fognini de se raconter et se livrer comme rarement. Fantasque, spectaculaire et surtout tellement doué, l’Italien aurait pu prendre une toute autre trajectoire dans sa jeunesse. Il a raconté comment il avait choisi le tennis à la place du football : « Ma première passion était le football. Il y a eu des moments où je préférais jouer au football plutôt qu’au tennis, c’est difficile de dire ça quand le tennis m’a donné cette vie. C’est difficile parce que le tennis est un job maintenant, pas un sport. Le football est mon sport préféré et je le regarde autant que je peux. C’est quand j’étais plus jeune que j’ai décidé que le tennis était pour moi. Le football était incroyable, mais le tennis m’a donné la responsabilité que je voulais. Si je perds, c’est juste moi, comme si je gagnais. »

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“The worst time of the year for me is between December and January when I am really close to flying again. I have a long pre season, see friends, some good dinners, and then I get back on the road. I always get sick days before I am about to leave. Sometimes a fever or a cough, and I just tell myself it is going to be okay. it has been like this for about 10 years. It happens because after having the chance to be at home, close to family and friends, it is almost like I am part of another life. I am still practicing but to have the chance to catch up with everyone doesn’t really happen during the season. I remember my first child being eight months old, and Flavia and I were in Miami again for pre season. That time was unique. I was about to fly out to Australia and I began to cry like a baby. I just couldn’t imagine leaving them.⁣ ⁣ It was two years ago and I started off the season really poorly. I started the clay season with a couple first round losses and no confidence. During the three months before I kept telling myself that I needed time off to rest. That I should practice and just get ready for Monte Carlo. I was alone during the South American swing and also Miami. I felt lonely and the little time I got to see my family in between wasn’t enough. I kept asking myself what should be doing. I found some motivation and told myself I should stay and fight. I was down 6-4, 4-1, break point during the first round of Monte Carlo. I not only managed to come back in that match, but I won the tournament. I pushed harder than I have before to get myself through that first match and ended with the best result of my life. ⁣ ⁣ My first passion was football. There were times I rather play football than tennis but it is tough to say that when tennis gave me this life. It is difficult because tennis is a job now, not a sport. Football is my favorite sport and I watch as much as I can. It was when I was younger when I decided tennis was for me. Football was amazing but tennis gave me the responsibility I wanted. If I lose it is on me just like it is if I win.” @fabiofogna ⁣ ⁣ Go to behindtheracquet.com for extended stories, podcast and merch.

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