Big win won't change Fognini: "I'm still like Fabio Fognini"

Big win won't change Fognini: "I'm still like Fabio Fognini"

The 31-year-old Italian is the second seed at Estoril.

Fabio Fognini is still Fabio Fognini.

The 31-year-old Italian is known for his brilliant but uneven play and frequent bad behavior on court. And that's the way he wants it to stay following his first Masters victory at Monte Carlo, where he defeated Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.

"The first thing I say to everybody is [even] winning a big tournament, I'm still like Fabio Fognini 110 percent," he said to press at Estoril, where he is playing this week. "I'm not changing because I beat a big player and I won a big tournament. I will never change. I was like this and I will be like this. I'm not changing because people say something to me, that sometimes I'm crazy sometimes I'm not." 

Something else he doesn't want to change is the quality of tennis he played that week. "I would like to play every week like Monte Carlo, but it's impossible," he said. "Of course my goals change a little bit winning Monte Carlo."

Fognini insisted that 11-time champ Nadal is still the player to beat the French Open, but acknowledged that with Nadal's defeat to Dominic Thiem in Barcelona a week ago, there appeared to be a widened field.

"Rafa is the favorite 110 percent," he said, but added, "It's more open, maybe. I'm part of that, so I have to be ready. But it's difficult because it's a goal for everybody. 

"Yes, of course I would like to win Roland Garros. But to win Roland Garros, you have to play 1st round, 2nd round. Now in my position I have to be thinking day by day."

Fognini is the second seed at Estoril.