Roger Federer received a walkover into the third round of the Rolex Paris Masters 1000, after his would-be opponent, Milos Raonic withdrew from the tournament, after a thrilling match against Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in his earlier round. Federer, will face the Italian, Fabio Fognini in his third round encounter later today.
Fognini, for those who do not know, holds Roger Federer in the highest of the regards. The Italian,who is known for his swagger and on-court theatrics, said he reveres Federer and always tries to learn from him as much as possible. Fognini also remembers the time during their last meeting in Wimbledon 2012, where Fognini has asked Federer for advice in his career. Foginini refers to Roger Federer as “the king of tennis” and says the day he hangs up his boots will be the saddest day for tennis. “He’s the strongest player ever,” said Fabio Fognini, in his interview. “As a fan and colleague, the day he will stop playing tennis will be beautiful and bad, because he is an icon not only in tennis but also in everything”, he added.
The Italian also said that, despite trying hard to imitate the likes of Federer on court, it is not as easy at it looks. “Many people say, ‘You have to learn from Rafa, Roger’, but how can you do it? There is only one Rafa, one Roger. It’s like ‘Go on, ride a bike like Valentino Rossi does”, said Fabio Fognini.
After Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal, it will be Djokovic and Federer, who will be the favorites to win the title. Federer, however has been dominant over Fognini, wining all the three meetings between them. And in all those three meetings Fognini has failed to win even a single set. He will hope to give Federer a little more trouble in Paris this time around.