FABIO FOGNINI has slammed the younger generation of tennis players coming through.
Fabio Fognini has snubbed the younger crop of tennis players coming through in favour of the “old generation” including the Big Three. The 34-year-old admitted he wouldn’t watch tennis once he retired after playing in the era of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
The younger ATP players born in the mid-90s onwards have become mainstays at the top of the game.
Daniil Medvedev, who turned 26 today, is closing in on Djokovic’s world No 1 ranking and became the first player from his era to win a Grand Slam title at last year’s US Open.
Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas have also cemented themselves as the next Major champions, making finals at the 2020 US Open and 2021 French Open respectively, both just missing out on the titles in five sets.
Djokovic and Nadal remain inside the world’s top ten but are now the only players in their thirties to remain at the top, joined by Andrey Rublev, Matteo Berrettini, Casper Ruud, Jannik Sinner and Felix Auger-Aliassime as well as the aforementioned three
34-year-old Fognini, who turned pro at a similar time to Djokovic and Nadal, has now shared his dislike for the game style being made popular by the next generation of Grand Slam winners.
“I’m honest, when I retire I’m not going to watch tennis. I don’t like the tennis that’s coming,” the former world No 9 told El Grafico.
The Italian, who beat ‘King of Clay’ Nadal en route to the Monte Carlo Masters title back in 2019, admitted there was a difference in the game belonging to his older generation and the new group of stars.
He continued: “I’m from the old generation. What’s coming is going to be all forehand, serve bombs, it’s all the same.”
Fognini even admitted he preferred watching Federer play a few years ago, and cast doubt over whether the 40-year-old could return to the same level.
The Swiss star has barely played in the last two years, undergoing three surgeries for a troublesome right knee injury, and is still uncertain on when he will return.
“I would pay to see Roger like in the old days. I don’t know if we will see him like before,” the nine-time title winner said.
“I love Federer. Everything seems easy for him, but it’s not like that.”
Federer recently told his sponsor CreditSuisse that he would have more indication of his comeback in April, as his training intensity has only just been increased.
But the 20-time Major champion is expected to return by September at the latest after being confirmed for the Laver Cup in London alongside Nadal.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back into competition later this year and Laver Cup is very much part of my plan, said the man who co-created the event to honour tennis legend Rod Laver.
“It’s no secret that I love the event and I’m super excited to be returning to The O2 and to London, one of the greatest cities in the world.”