Fabio Fognini, the No. 11 men’s tennis player in the world, said he used the time he had during the sports’ suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic to have surgery on both of his ankles.
Fognini had the surgeries Saturday in Italy. He posted photos on social media while flexing his arm in a hospital bed. The ATP season has been suspended since March 12.
“I’ve been having a problem with my left ankle for three-and-a-half years now,” Fognini wrote on Twitter and Instagram. “It’s an issue I’ve learned to cope with. Then my right ankle started playing up in the past two years as well. I had hoped the various issues would go away during my two-month break from the game because of the lockdown, but when I resumed training, they were still there.
“After medical examination and a long discussion with my team, I decided to have arthroscopic surgery on both ankles. I believe it’s the right thing to do while the Tour is on this enforced break. I will undergo surgery in Italy [Saturday]. I can’t wait to be back playing again!”
Fognini was a quarterfinalist at the 2011 French Open. He also advanced to the fourth round of the 2020 Australian Open in January in Melbourne.
Fognini beat South Korea’s Duckhee Lee in straight sets in a Davis Cup qualifier March 6 in Cagliari, Italy. He reached a career-best No. 9 in last year’s ATP rankings.