In an interview Marco Cecchinato commented on his last season. The Italian won the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires defeating the local hero Diego Schwartzman. Cecchinato's best result is obviously the French Open semifinals that he reached after defeating Novak Djokovic.
"The clear image I have is the match point against Djokovic in Paris: the passing shot and the Suzanne Lenglen crowd standing up for me", said Cecchinato. "My hand still shakes. But I have to say that the beginning of the year was not bad.
This year gave me an awareness that I did not have before. I will have to confirm the results and it will be tougher. Now the toughest moment comes. When you get to a certain ranking position you have to repeat yourself and if you manage to do it, it means you got to the top."
On what the Buenos Aires title can mean to him, Cecchinato added: "I would like it to be a starting point. I have ten more years of career ahead of me: what I did in 2018 I know it's history for Italian tennis. Everybody told me it.
The last Major semifinal was reached 40 years ago with Corrado Barazzutti who came hugging me being emotional despite I had broken his record. Looking back at 2018, it's a difficult year to explain. I had very strong emotions."
He finally commented on how his popularity changed: "Before they did not recognize me, despite I was already a top 100 player. After the French Open, at the restaurant, airport, holding rackets or bag or going around with my trolley, everyone stops me.
From one side it's nice, it means you are famous. On the other it's a little stressful: you always have to be available, always smiling even if you are thinking about other things or you are not happy. But I like meeting kids."