These will be days to remember for Fabio Fognini, as he is now a top ten player for the first time in his career.
The second week of the Roland Garros is underway, and even though Fognini lost early in the fourth round on Monday and is not in the French Open’s draw anymore, he has something very important to celebrate. The Italian could not match his career best result at the second Grand Slam of the season because he was defeated by World no. 5 Alexander Zverev, but following the loss by Juan Martin del Potro to Karen Khachanov and Federer’s victory over Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals, Forgnini moves up to the tenth position in the ATP rankings for the first time in his career.
The achievement of a dream
“Reaching the top 10 was my dream since I started playing tennis. I look back and see myself as a child with a racket that was bigger than me and think this kid has come a long way.” With these words, told to the Italian Tennis Federation, the 32-year-old expressed his feelings of happiness and pride.”In this moment I am very happy and I’m thankful to my family, my wife and my little son, who are always close to me.”
A coincidence or a prediction?
Fognini is famous for his hot head, and after his stunning victory over Rafael Nadal in the Monte Carlo Masters’ semifinal earlier this year, he stated: “If I had had the right brain I would have been in the top 10 of the rankings for multiple years.” These words were genuine and true, because the amazing talent of this player is not in question. On the right day he’s unplayable, to say the least. This came in a period where the Italian was starting to feel well on court and was playing way better than he did early in the season. After taking the title in Monte Carlo, he didn’t end his run of good play. He can finally see the sweet number ten next to his name, just as he predicted. Who knows if this achievement will finally clean his head? If it does, he’ll be a challenger throughout the season.
Old but gold
Fognini, playing his career best tennis in his mature age, will be the third-oldest player to make the top 10 debut, after 38-year-old Ken Rosewall and 35-year-old Rod Laver in 1973, when the ATP Ranking was introduced. In 46 years of history, just 165 players reached the top ten, and Fognini will be proud to be one of them. Italy has not had a man in the top ten since Corrado Barrazzutti in 1979, forty years ago, while the first ever Italian to reach it was Adriano Panatta in 1973. If we consider the virtual rankings before the introduction of the official one, Fognini is the sixth italian to enter the top 10 after Umberto de Morpurgo (1928), Giorgio de Stefani (1935), Nicola Pietrangeli (1959), Adriano Panatta (1976) and Corrado Barrazzutti (1978).