After 41 years, a male Italian player is in the top ten singles rankings again. After Stan Wawrinka's four-set loss to Roger Federer in the French Open quarter-final, it's official: Fabio Fognini will achieve his career-high ranking at no.
9 on Monday, 10th June. The last Italian man to do so was Corrado Barazzutti in 1978. Fognini has had a great season so far winning his maiden Masters 1000 in the Monte Carlo Masters. In the second Major of the year, he lost to Alexander Zverev in the fourth round.
"Fabio deserved to get this achievement so much," said Barazzutti, one of Fognini's coaches and the Italian Davis Cup team captain. "And now he does not have to stop because he can and needs to do even better.
What has changed? After his win in Monte Carlo, he became aware of being a player who can get big results, and he is always even more convinced of his own strength, of his qualities. It's not that he did not know it before, but he had never won a Masters 1000 in the past.
He has a stronger character, now he knows he is able to win a big title because the quality of tennis is notable. In the tense moments, Fabio is able to look at the positives unlike before when he was not that clinical. That's great because he is calm enough to overcome the bad moments that during a match can happen.
He finally has the needed consistency to breakthrough and achieve important results. When he plays at his best, he is second to nobody, he is among the strongest guys in the world. That's what his opponents say."