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.”