Few bops hit quite like a song of the summer: the combination of fresh melodies and relaxed beats that carry you through the hottest months of the year.

Lorenzo Sonego accomplished that alchemy off the court when he released his reggaeton-inspired dance hit Un Solo Secondo shortly before enjoying a run to 2021 Championships’ second week. Though his sophomore season has, at times, proven difficult, the big-serving Italian has rediscovered his rhythm since Roland Garros, and will face one of his biggest tests yet as he aims to snap Rafael Nadal’s 16-match Grand Slam winning streak.

Get to know the 27-year-old before Wimbledon’s first week concludes:


The Basics

Though Sonego showed signs of ATP-level excellence before the COVID-19 lockdown—reaching the quarterfinals of the 2019 Rolex Monte Carlo Masters as a qualifier and winning his first title later Antalya—the Turin native is one of many to hit a new plateau in this post-pandemic landscape. He is also part of an impressively diverse group of top-ranked Italians that includes former Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini, Jannik Sinner, Fabio Fognini, and Lorenzo Musetti.

Playing his home tournament in the fall of 2020, Sonego roared into the Internazionali BNL d’Italia semifinals, scoring upsets over Gaël Monfils, Dominic Thiem, and Andrey Rublev before enduring a narrow defeat to Novak Djokovic.

From there, he continued to display his versatility on all surfaces, making an indoor ATP 500 final in Vienna along with two more finals in 2021—winning one on clay in Sardegna.

But like countryman Berrettini, Sonego has developed an affinity for grass that roots back to his first title in 2019, backed up by a runner-up finish last summer in Eastbourne and a trip to Wimbledon’s fourth round, where he played Roger Federer through three tough sets.

“I like playing on grass because my serve is really good here. I can use the slice, which is my best serve,” he explained at the time. “If I return better, I can play a really good match on this surface. I really like playing on all surfaces. I love clay because I grew up playing on that in Italy, but I really do like grass, as well.”

I like playing on grass because I can use the slice, which is my best serve. If I return better, I can play a really good match on this surface. Lorenzo Sonego

The Latest

Sonego came just short of cracking the ATP’s Top 20, peaking at No. 21 last October, and made a bright start to 2022 with a quarterfinal in Sydney and a third round at the Australian Open.

But after pushing Diego Schwartzman to three sets at the Argentina Open semifinals, he would win just three matches at his next eight tournaments, including opening-round exits in Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Rome.

It wasn’t until his return to Paris where Sonego finally showed signs of life, stringing together a pair of wins to book what would become a titanic clash with Casper Ruud.

He led the eventual finalist by two sets to one and though Ruud ultimately advanced, the soft-spoken Sonego was more than pleased with his performance.

“I was confident and I played my best, I think, and I can do nothing different today, he was better than me today.”

Sonego has taken that swagger through a stabilizing grass swing that featured a Stuttgart quarterfinal and a third-straight Grand Slam third round. After avenging a Queen’s Club defeat to Denis Kudla in five sets, he outplayed Hugo Gaston to book his first meeting with Nadal, who needed four sets in both of his wins over Francisco Cerundolo and Ricardas Berankis.


Sonego is set to return to Centre Court for the first time since facing Roger Federer in the fourth round last year.

Sonego is set to return to Centre Court for the first time since facing Roger Federer in the fourth round last year.

Why It Matters

Italians were expecting big things from the Championships, particularly from Berrettini after his back-to-back titles in Stuttgart and Queen’s Club.

When the world No. 11 was forced to withdraw after contracting COVID-19, the weight of expectation fell on his four countrymen, and while Fognini and Musetti exited in the first round, Sinner and Sonego have kept the flag flying.

Sinner was first into the second week after outfoxing John Isner, and though Sonego has a demonstrably tougher task in an opponent in pursuit of a Calendar Year Grand Slam, he has clocked in solid serving numbers through his first two rounds—cleaning up just under 80% of his first serve points—and playing hyper-aggressive tennis.

Should Sonego click into gear early and often, we might hear music of a different kind on Centre Court.