© Mike Lawrence/ATP Tour

Thomas Fabbiano spent 392 minutes on court at this edition of the Miami Open presented by Itau.

How Fabbiano Raised Awareness For A Coach's Cancer Fight

Kristijan Schneider, Coric's former coach, was recently diagnosed with cancer

Thomas Fabbiano may have lost in the first round of the main draw at this year’s Miami Open presented by Itau. But every moment the Italian qualifier spent on court was important.

The 31-year-old donated $1 for every minute he spent on court in qualifying and the main draw at the ATP Masters 1000 event to support treatment for former ATP coach Kristijan Schneider, who just weeks ago was diagnosed with cancer in the abdomen.

“I know that Reilly Opelka did the same with the aces for a foundation, but I couldn’t use the aces formula myself because if it goes well, I have maybe two aces in a match,” Fabbiano said. “Since my matches usually last a long time, I put these rules of one dollar per minute I stayed on the court in the whole Miami tournament. I remembered when I was on court to fight for every point, even when the score was not going my way. Even one point could make a difference.”

Fabbiano spent 392 minutes on court, and thus donated $392 for Schneider’s treatment. The Croatian coach, who used to work with Borna Coric and most recently was in Melbourne with WTA player Olga Danilovic, was diagnosed with colon cancer two years ago when he was training Coric. On that occasion, he did not need chemotherapy, as the affected region was removed. This time, however, he needs chemo.

“On Monday, after I passed the qualies, I was in bed and I was happy for my two wins and it came in my mind I wanted to give back, to help [him],” Fabbiano said. “I have an appreciation for his job and the person he is, so I saw that he is funding for some money and I found the best way to put some rules on how I can make this deal [to help him].”

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The Italian only knew Schneider from training sessions with Coric and seeing him around the ATP Tour. But in recent months, Fabbiano has noticed that the tennis community has grown closer, and he felt trying to raise awareness of the coach’s situation was the right thing to do.

“We shared some moments together and I could feel the nice person he is… I feel close to him, our personalities. He was generous, he never lost respect for any opponents [his player] played against,” Fabbiano said. “I think he has the respect of many players.

"Our tennis family is having a bad moment, and we can help him, everyone with the possibility [to do so]... To me, it gives me hope, it gives me strength to do this. I do it with happiness."

Nearly $18,000 has been raised so far for Schneider's treatment.