It was a historic day for the Italian Davis Cup team, who reached the semi-final round for the first time since 1998. The man responsible for the critical rubber was the team’s top ranked player, Fabio Fognini, who defeated British No. 1 Andy Murray in straight sets to even the tie 2-2 heading into the final rubber.
Considering Fognini was unsure about his participation in the tie last week, as he had suffered a left quad injury in Miami, but ultimately overcame the odds to help the Italian team edge closer to their first Davis Cup title since 1976.
“Today, I just played better than Andy,” Fognini said. “I tried to focus on my game and do my best. It was an important point for me. It was a very difficult match, but I played really good.”
When asked about his left quad injury and how he felt playing all three days of the tie, Fognini admit that he “suffered” throughout the experience, particularly on the first day and then later again during the latter stages of the doubles rubber.
“Of course I suffered on all three days,” said Fognini. “I think the first day was the worst one because I was not feeling really good. Also yesterday during the doubles I started to feel something after two sets and at the end I think we were a little bit unlucky.
While he was disappointed with losing the doubles rubber, it helped motivate him to bring his best tennis to the third and final day, and managed to overcome the odds to defeat the British No. 1 to even the tie 2-2. It was only Murray’s second loss in Davis Cup singles competition (20-2) and his first since 2005.
“I was really angry after the match and during the night, but this morning I woke up and said ‘OK, let’s go, put your face in the court like always’ and I was right today.
“I played my best tennis. It was really tough. I know Andy and it’s always difficult playing against him.”
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