Fognini plays down effect of Monte Carlo win against Nadal

Fognini plays down effect of Monte Carlo win against Nadal

"Every week we play on this surface, he's still the favorite."

The Italian Fabio Fognini says that while he might have defeated Rafael Nadal on the way to winning Monte Carlo, Nadal is still the favorite for the French Open -- and he has no problem with that.

The 31-year-old, who just won his first Masters title, says he's happy on and off the court these days. 

“I have everything in my life. That's true. I feel happy because when you do your work and you do it great and win -- in that case, we are talking about winning a big title, I have to be happy,” Fognini said. “In my life, I have everything. Healthy, I have [our] baby, I have [my] wife [winner of the 2015 US Open, Flavia Pennetta], they are with me all the time. More than that...maybe a second one, but we have time.”

Now ranked No. 12, Fognini beat No. 3 Alexander Zverev,  No. 2 Rafa Nadal and Serbian Dusan Lajovic in the final of Monte Carlo. Though he had a poor start to the season, Fognini now seems like he could have a deep run at the French Open, where he has never reached the semifinals.

Nadal has won in Paris 11 times, and defeated Fognini there in straight sets in 2013.

“The favorite is still Rafa, because I'm not the only one that says this,” Fognini said. “Because he won, I don't know how many times, and every week that we play on this surface he's still the favorite. So I just thinking about next tournament, next match that I would like to play, and we will see if I'm in really good shape. You have to be lucky also in the draw. So a lot of things. But it's not my problem right now, believe me.”

Both were scheduled to play in Barcelona this week before Fognini's withdrawal from the event. Nadal is the top seed.