On Thursday, September 7, Volandri announced the members of the Italian team set to play in the Davis Cup Finals Group Stage in Bologna from September 12-17. These included World No. 18 Lorenzo Musetti, World No. 39 Lorenzo Sonego, and World No. 61 Matteo Arnaldi, as well as World No. 41 and No. 43 in doubles Andrea Vavassori and Simone Bolelli.
However, former World No. 9 Fognini, who is currently ranked at No. 128 in singles and No. 28 in doubles, slammed the decision to exclude him from the team, calling it 'disrespectful.'
Fognini and Volandri dispute
"Wearing the blue, feeling the warmth of the public, competing in packed arenas with our fans in tow even on unthinkable away games has always encouraged me to give 110%," Fognini said in a statement, before adding:
"On Monday, while I was in Genoa, the captain's call came to me: suddenly I no longer fit into the plans, without justifiable explanations and in ways that I didn't agree with, disrespectful of my history and my Italian past, because until lastly I was informed that I would be in the squad and available to take to the field and for this reason I decided to train and play the Challenger to the best of my strength to be ready and available."
However, Volandri has now called these words from the 36-year-old 'ungrateful' and has explained his version of events.
"In his latest appearances, Fognini has suffered retirements and physical problems," he said, "His performance in the last three months did not meet the criteria that, in my opinion, must be met to obtain a call-up to Davis. While I was in New York, I received a phone call from a member of his medical staff who was already telling me that Fabio was in very poor condition."
"Despite the fact that a federal staff was proposed to him, with technicians, athletic trainers and doctors at his disposal, precisely to try to recover him. So, I respected his wishes but he left me no choice, that's the truth.
"I wish Fabio to return to the levels he belongs to and I continue to thank him for what he has done in the past in the Davis Cup. This is the last time I address this topic publicly; we are on the eve of an important appointment, much more than our personal destinies, so we must all focus on the goal," he continued.