Italian Fabio Fognini is having a terrific week. He cracked the Top 10 for the first time in his career. At age 32, he made history by becoming the oldest to debut in that elite company since the rankings were established in 1973, when 38-year-old Ken Rosewall and 35-year-old Rod Laver were listed.
The rankings reflect the Italian's excellent showing during clay season, when he won his first Masters 1000 crown at Monte Carlo, where he defeated Rafael Nadal along the way. "To reach the Top 10 is like the fulfilment of a dream," Fognini said according to the ATP.
"I see myself as a kid on a tennis court with a racquet bigger than me and I think, 'This kid has gone a long way' "Right now I am happy and I want to thank my family, my wife, my son and all the people who have always been close to me.
This is another piece of the puzzle which will push me to continue to give my all to the sport I love." The 32-year-old is also only the third Italian to join such select company, after Adriano Panatta and Corrado Barazzutti.
Not only that, but the Italian has now joined Team Europe at the Laver Cup. He will be a very fun presence alongside Roger Federer, Nadal, Alexander Zverev, and red-hot Dominic Thiem. With this impressive group, Team World's job of beating them just got a lot harder.
“Laver Cup is one of the most fun weeks of my year,” said Zverev in the Laver Cup press release. Laver Cup is basically the party competition on the circuit. It's positive spirit and the camaraderie between the biggest stars in the sport is both unparalleled and infectious.
“Winning in Prague and Chicago as part of Team Europe has been unbelievable, there’s a team spirit and team atmosphere that’s unlike any other. I can’t wait to get together again and defend our title”.
Fabio Fognini is very excited about the upcoming opportunity, taking place in Geneva, Switzerland September 20-22, 2019. “I’m very excited to be playing the Laver Cup in September,” Fognini said. He applauded the team-atmosphere.
Team Europe is captained by legend Björn Borg, and he's looking forward to defending his title. “Playing as part of a team is special in tennis, where we are more used to having a one-on-one battle every match.
I’m looking forward to competing alongside all the great players on Team Europe”. “I’m delighted to have Dom (Thiem) back in the team. He was a great player for us in Prague and his form is outstanding, as we saw recently in his run to the final at Roland Garros.
“Sascha (Zverev) is not just one of the rising stars of the game, he’s a great team player and loves this competition. Fabio is renowned for his passion and has had an incredible season and I have no doubt he’ll make a great contribution to the team.
“This talented group of players, alongside Rafa and Roger, two of the greatest players of all time, gives us an incredibly strong team and I believe we are in a very good position to win the title for the third time”.
Masters 1000 title, Top 10 career high, and the fifth member of elite Team Europe. "Not too bad," as Novak Djokovic and Fognini would say.