Fognini has shot at Top 10 again with Monte Carlo Open title

Fognini has shot at Top 10 again with Monte Carlo Open title

"I feel at one point of the year that I was really close, for the top 10."

Fabio Fognini is within reach of entering the Top 10 for the first time in his career following his triumph at the Monte Carlo Masters.

The 31-year-old Italian is up to a career-high No. 12 with 2, 840 points in the rankings—that's 240 points behind current No. 10 John Isner. 

It's not the first time the new Masters champ has been in this position, recalling a series of squandered opportunities in the second half of 2018.

"I feel at one point of the year that I was really close, for the top 10," said Fognini, who won the 2018 ATP events at Bastad and Los Cabos. "Once was [the] US Open, but I always play really bad there. And the second chance that I had was in China that I was playing really good, [reached] the final with [four] match points with [Bernard] Tomic. Then the week after, I had semifinal [but had to withdraw with physical issues in Beijing] against Delpo."

Now he will get some shots at it again during the next few weeks.



Fognini is still scheduled to play the 500-point event in Barcelona this week and could reach the top 10 there, but is considering withdrawing with the injury problems he experienced in the final of Monte Carlo. 

But even if he does not play, Fognini could still find himself just a 100 points behind the top 10 next week, if Stefanos Tsitsipas does not defend his points from the 2018 Barcelona final. A quarterfinal or semifinal at the Madrid Masters would secure his spot.

Fognini is defending a quarterfinal at the Rome Masters and a fourth round at the French Open, and would have to go further at those events to add rankings points.

But whatever his ranking, he's still just won the biggest title of his career.

"I'm happy because I just won a tournament. The consequence is best ranking, whatever we can call it," he said. "But just feel happy because I won a big tournament that was always my goal in my career.''