Fognini obscured by Berrettini, but it is the triumph of Italian tennis


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Fognini obscured by Berrettini, but it is the triumph of Italian tennis

Without the victory at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, Fabio Fognini's 2019 would have been mundane, almost below expectations, considering his 2018. But the victory in Monaco re-evaluated his season, allowing Italian tennis to reach a goal that was missing for years.

But, reading well what happened in 2019, and despite the victory of his first ATP Masters 1000, Fognini's season was overshadowed by his countryman Matteo Berrettini. The 23-year-old played consistently throughout the season, winning two titles (in Budapest and Stuttgart), reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon and the semi-final at the US Open.

And above all Berrettini obtained entry into the ATP Finals for the first time in his career. Berrettini proved to be competitive on all surfaces, a prerogative that is not common among Italian tennis players, who are generally more and more inclined for tennis on clay-courts.

Fognini is a great clay-court tennis player, in fact, but I remain convinced that one with his talent should be able to play at the highest level even on other surfaces. Internal dualisms aside, 2019 has certified the triumph of Italian men's tennis, with Fognini and Berrettini able to achieve another important goal: both have reached the top-10 of the ATP tennis this year.

Italian men's movement also has in its arsenal other young talents ready to show all their qualities, such as Jannik Sinner, ATP Next Gen Finals winner, and Lorenzo Sonego. The only negative note was the negative season of Marco Cecchinato.

The roles have been reversed and the health of Italian women's tennis is in decline, probably in one of the darkest phases of its history. But at least the boys are carrying out the good things done by the girls in previous seasons. Only the big title is missing, will it arrive soon?