Fabio Fognini has been using his time at home in Italy to bond with his three-year-old son, Federico, and play backyard tennis with his wife, former US Open champion Flavia Pennetta. But when he recently transitioned to a real court for training sessions, the ankle issues that plagued him for nearly four years still remained.
The 33-year-old decided to tackle the problem on Saturday by undergoing arthroscopic surgery on both ankles. Fognini explained in an Instagram post that he believed this is the best possible time for him to have the procedures.
”I’ve been having a problem with my left ankle for three-and-a-half years now. It’s an issue I’ve learned to cope with. Then my right ankle started playing up in the past two years as well,” Fognini wrote. “I had hoped the various issues would go away during my two-month break from the game because of the lockdown, but when I resumed training, they were still there.
“After medical examination and a long discussion with my team, I decided to have arthroscopic surgery on both ankles. I believe it’s the right thing to do while the Tour is on this enforced break. I will undergo surgery in Italy today. I can’t wait to be back playing again!”
Fognini, No. 11 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, started this season by representing Italy in the inaugural ATP Cup and reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open. He picked up his first ATP Masters 1000 title last April in Monte-Carlo and, two months later, became the oldest first-time member of the Top 10 since 1973.