Italy’s Fabio Fognini won’t bother with the US Open – should it actually come to pass – and will focus his energies on the autumn clay run as the ATP works to emerge from COVID-19 lockdown 

The Italian ranked 11th won’t be missing much in Flushing Meadows – he has six first-round losses in New York from a dozen appearances with a fourth-round five years ago his best showing.

Instead of trying to jump through the quarantine hops to enter the virus-plagued  US, the 33-year-old who won Monte Carlo in 2019 will concentrate on  recovering from May’s double ankle surgery.

His team will put emphasis on the delayed Madrid and Rome tournaments leading to the September 27 start of the rescheduled French Open.

Fognini coach and Italian Davis Cup captain Corrado Barazzutti laid out the scenario as doubts begin to surface about trying to stage the closed-door Open in the country most affected by the virus pandemic, where nearly 140,000 have died and cases continue to increase daily .

Instead, Fognini is ready to focus on reaching the eight-man ATP Finals, normally played in November in London.

“We are preparing for the clay court season and hope that we can play in Madrid, Rome and Paris,” Barazzutti told Italy’s Supertennis TV.

“Fabio could then continue with the European indoor tournaments to qualify for the ATP finals. We’ll see if the Corona virus allows this plan. 

“We will start training slowly on Monday. He is in good shape and has accelerated his rehab program after the operation. We are very confident.”

Former player Barazzutti added: “Travelling to the US is ruled out, there is not enough time to prepare for competition.

“Let’s see how this calendar works out: the only sure thing now is that Fabio is fine. His healing is coming along well.”

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