It took 41 years for an Italian player to return to the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings. The ranking transitions were scarce one day after the conclusion of Roland Garros, the second Grand Slam of the season. Nonetheless, there was one particular move that stood out above the rest due to the historical context that it represents.
After the Swiss Stan Wawrinka was defeated in the Quarterfinals to countryman Roger Federer — Italian tennis fans had a new reason to celebrate: Fabio Fognini officially secured his debut into the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings.
To understand the importance of this achievement, it is necessary to reflect back to the late 1970s, a time when Corrado Barazzuti, (titleholder of 7 professional tournaments) reached No.7 in the world rankings on August 21, 1978.
Now, after winning the Monte Carlo Masters 1000, Fognini positioned himself for a breakthrough. Conclusively, having reached the fourth round of Roland Garros, ultimately falling to the German Alexander Zverez; today, Fabio Fognini debuted as the tenth best tennis player in the world.
At 32-years-old, the San Remo born becomes just the third Italian man to enter the Top 10 (behind Adriano Panatta and Barazzuti). Additionally, Fognini became the oldest player to break into the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings for the first time since 38-year-old Ken Rosewall and 35-year-old Rod Laver on August 23, 1973.
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