Fabio Fognini made history on Thursday afternoon in Indian Wells.
By rallying past Spaniard Pablo Andujar 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the second round of the BNP Paribas Open, Fognini passed former World No. 4 Adriano Panatta for the most wins by an Italian male in history with 392.
“It’s nice for sure. I didn’t know before the match, believe me,” Fognini told ATPTour.com. “They are just statistics, but of course I’m happy. Now they compare me to the big ones. Adriano was an idol when I was young, so I’m really happy. It’s not the end. I’ll continue fighting and let’s see what happens.”
Most Wins By An Italian Male
Fognini claimed his first tour-level win in 2006 in Amersfoort. Since then, he has lifted nine ATP Tour trophies, including an ATP Masters 1000 triumph at the 2019 Rolex Paris Masters. The 34-year-old, who has climbed as high as No. 9 in the ATP Rankings, did not necessarily expect to accomplish all he has.
“If I have to be honest, not really. But you go day by day, tournament by tournament, year by year. If I’m looking back at my career, I did something great. Probably in the past two months, especially after Australia I started enjoying a little more my tennis, even if it’s difficult traveling without my family,” Fognini said. “This job is not going to go forever, so I’m trying to enjoy my last years of competition and we’ll see. But at the moment I’m happy for sure.”
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The Italian, who will next face 2021 finalist Nikoloz Basilashvili, is trying to regain his form following arthroscopic surgery on both his ankles in May 2020. Now he feels motivated and it showed in his comeback against Andujar.
“It was not easy because the conditions were not great conditions. It’s windy, it’s cold. It changes constantly,” Fognini said. “But I’m happy the way I’m fighting and of course that at the end I won my match.”
[4:23 PM] Paul Macpherson
Musetti, who competed in last year’s Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals, has already reached quarter-finals in Rotterdam and Pune this year. The 20-year-old next faces another home favourite, 17th seed Reilly Opelka.