Fans often engage in heated debates about whether Roger Federer is the Greatest Player of All Time, or if that title should go to Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic. In time we will know how many Grand Slam titles each player ends up with, but depending on what yardstick you go by, there still might be a discussion on who the GOAT is.
There is one thing that requires very little debate though - that Roger Federer is one of the most liked players among his peers. Federer has received the ATP Tour Sportsmanship Award 13 times, which is voted for by the ATP players themselves. In addition, most of his peers have very nice things to say about him.
Fabio Fognini can now be included in that list too. The World No. 13 has recently written a book called "My Life Between the Lines", where he says that his losses to Roger Federer are the ones that he regrets the least - because of how great the Swiss is. Fognini also talks about how Federer likes to joke around off the court, and that he often compliments the Italian for his good looks.
Fabio Fognini says he gave it all he had every time against Roger Federer
The two players have met each other on four occasions on the ATP Tour, and Federer has won all their matches in straight sets. But the Italian doesn't feel bad about that, since he believes there was nothing much he could have done to reverse any of the results
“Of all my defeats, those to Roger are the ones I regret the least. I know I gave all I had every time and I lost against the best of all," Fognini said.
Roger Federer is also known for being a good sport and and a fun guy to be around with off-the-court. In his book, Fognini recalls some of the reasons why he is such a big fan of Federer.
"Roger Federer jokes all the time. 'How good looking are you Fabio?’ he jokes with me. ‘If only I were as beautiful as you are.’ I’m always surprised by the difference between everyday life Federer and on court Federer. He is a kind man keen to have a laugh and a joke with everybody," Fognini said.
The 33-year-old Fognini has won nine ATP singles titles in his career - including the 2019 Monte Carlo Masters. He was beaten by Ugo Humbert in the round of 32 at the ongoing Italian Open in Rome.
Roger Federer, on the other hand, is currently recovering from a knee injury and will not be competing on the tour this year.Published 18 Sep 2020, 14:08 IST