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February 23, 2020

Fabio Fognini

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you feel heading into this tournament?
FABIO FOGNINI: Well, is my first time here so I'm happy. I've never been here. Just when I was flying to Australia, stopping in Dubai, flying to Melbourne.

Conditions are really good. If I have to be honest, I still working on my tennis. I lose with injury. I try to be ready for my first match. But at the moment everything is really good.

Q. Why did you decide to come here for the first time?
FABIO FOGNINI: Because I never played this tournament.

Q. Talk a little about the conditions. You've been here for a few days now. Have you hit on the courts?
FABIO FOGNINI: I mean, yeah, last tournament I play was indoor so was really cold. Was in Europe. Then I fly here two days ago, start to practice outside. Conditions are a little bit different. But, you know, ball are the same like Australia. Condition are really hot, really humid, sweat a lot.

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 feeling well after Australia. I have to retire from two tournament that was real important for me.

I'm here without any expectation because, as you know, I stop more than 10 days. This problem that I have with my legs... Try to be ready for my first round. It's going to be really tough.

Q. You just took part in a stunt outside. How many times did it take you to actually reach the desired destination?
FABIO FOGNINI: Was in the middle, so was the most difficult part. We enjoy a lot, even if it's really hot outside.

Q. How many times did it take you to reach?
FABIO FOGNINI: Well, I don't know. A few times, for sure. More or less between seven and eight times for sure. It was nice.

Q. You decided to play here because you never played here before. Does the Davis Cup against South Korea play a part in your plans as well? It would be more sensible to fly back from Dubai to Italy rather than South America to Italy.
FABIO FOGNINI: As I say, last year I made the decision for the family because we expecting the second baby. Was at the end of the year. Was supposed to play ATP Cup, fly to Australia at least. I don't know, was really late. I make this decision for the family. I was a bit unlucky because I get injured. That's part of our sport or our job. We have to accept this one can happen.

I'm here because I want to play here. So was already in my mind last year. In the end decide to go to South America.

Just here to try to do my best. This is a big tournament. Everybody want to play this tournament. Roger get injury. At least before Roger pull out, was really high level. I have Davis next week. Is my plan I fly back home, especially because then I flew again to U.S.

I'm here, as I say before, without any expectation because I stop quite long. I'm not feeling already 100%. I'm still practicing four, five days. At the moment I have no pain. We play some points, start to move well. That's the most important thing.

I'm here with a lot of happiness. Try to enjoy every second and we see.

Q. (Question about the ATP Cup and the Davis Cup.)
FABIO FOGNINI: I think they are too close each other because we finish really late the Davis Cup in Madrid, and in January we play the ATP Cup. More than me, other players say ATP start to talking about that, try to let's see together how is the best.

I don't know if we can call it solution about that because they are really similar. They are really two big event for sure that most of us want to play. But we should do something because is even difficult for us because we stop, like, three or four weeks, then we have to fly in Australia. I'm not flying for two hours on way home, have a chance to come back, practice again, fly to Australia.

It's probably could be the problem that we can discuss, we can get everybody involved to improve something.

Q. What can be the solution?
FABIO FOGNINI: I'm just a player. Try to do my best once I step on court. I'm not in a position to tell you. I just say what I feel, what for me is best. They are two big competition, like I don't know, one month. They are really close. Let's see.

As I say the first time is always the difficult one because everything is new. Most of the time we should try to discuss something because this one is not working, this one is working better, let's keep working on that one.

But it's not my point to tell you what is the best solution. I tell you they're really close each other. For us it's quite difficult.

Q. I saw Musetti qualified, the young Italian.
FABIO FOGNINI: He won? Bravo.

Q. What do you make of the young generation of Italian players?
FABIO FOGNINI: I'm proud, for sure. I'm not the old one. I'm getting old, I'm almost 33. I have in front of me a few Italian players that are 35, 36. Lorenzi is 38.

Is good. I always say the more we are, the better is it. I'm really happy for him that he got through this qually. I think is the first qually 500 that he got into the main draw. Wish him the best of luck.

Q. More surprising Gianluca Mager with Dominic Thiem in Rio.
FABIO FOGNINI: We live close. I'm in Arma di Taggia. From San Remo, city really close. Seven kilometer from city to the other one. I know him really well, if I can say.

I can say that he always playing a really good tennis. But his mind was not 110% focused on the tennis. He improve a lot. Credit because you have to beat Thiem, especially on clay. After Rafa and Nole and Federer, I think he's the top, is Dominic.

I think also that he was not 110% on his condition because he finish so late, he made final in Australia, so he fly home.

I spoke with him because I was working with his trainer. I spoke to him. For sure it's normal. I mean, it's quite a lot of energy with Nole the final. I think not a lot of time to recovery well, as he would like to do.

I know him. He's really such a good worker. But I'm happy for sure because I know Gianluca. It's a good result, especially for him, but for the Italian tennis movement.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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