Fabio Fognini Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Italy’s second ranked tennis player Fabio Fognini wants to make the most of his debut at this week’s Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open this year.

The 32-year-old Fognini has been drawn to play Great Britain’s Daniel Evans in their first round match on Tuesday and the Italian honestly doesn’t know what to expect. “I’ve only passed via Dubai on my way to Australia. But now after a few days here, I feel the conditions are really good. And if I have to be honest, I am still working on my tennis as I lost some time due to injury,” he told media at the pre-tournament media interaction on Sunday.

Fognini peaked in the middle of 2019 at world No.9, but recurring ankle and elbow injuries set him back and made him lose out on match experience and confidence. He slowly started his comeback - with his best being a fourth round at the 2020 Australian Open where he lost in four sets to American Tennys Sandgren.

However, injuries on his ankles and elbow did not help his cause as he lost in the first round to Karen Khachanov at the ABN Amro Open in Rotterdam earlier this month. “At the moment, I can say that everything is going the perfect way. I’m a little bit sad, of course, about my performance of this month because I get injury when I was starting to feel well after Australia. I had to retire from two tournaments which were really important for me,” he said.

“I’m here without any expectations...The problem that I have is with my legs, but I will try to be ready for my first round. It’s going to be really tough,” Fognini added.