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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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