Few players without a career title draw as much of a reaction out of tennis fans as Fabio Fognini. Known for his dramatic ups-and-downs, animated facial expressions, on-court theatrics, and eyebrows, this Italian tennis player, currently ranked 45, certainly knows how to make an impact. With career wins over Andy Murray and Gael Monfils, a career high ranking of 32, and a (controversial) French Open Quarterfinal to his name, he certainly seems to have the talent to be a force in the game. Earlier this year he reached his first ever career final in Bucharest (who could forget this), and concerned tennis fans are hopeful that he will go one step further - he has vowed not to shave his beard away until he wins a title. But rankings and victories are only a small part of the Fabio Fognini experience. Here’s what else you need to know.
1. He’s temperamental on the court, but very friendly off-court.
Fabio is most famous for his two epic French Open victories over Gael Monfils and Albert Montanes. In both matches his argumentative nature and flair for drama were on full display. In 2010, after his match against Monfils was called for darkness, Fabio went on a rampage. Monfils said, "At the cloak rooms he insulted everybody for 30 minutes…. It was not very friendly, but … you know, he's a nice guy."
Gael was right. He is a nice guy when a match isn’t on the line. He loves the Italians (more on that later), gets along well with all of the Spanish guys since he trains in Barcelona, and has recently taken to twitter (@Fabio_Fogna) to prove that he’s chummy with nearly everyone on tour.