Top 5 Italian Players in the Open Era

AP / David Goldman, file

Top 5 Italian Players in the Open Era

Italian tennis has seen its fair share of exceptional players who have left an indelible mark on the sport.

From the 1970s to the present day, these athletes have not only raised the Italian flag high but also etched their names in tennis history. In this blog, we’ll delve into the top five Italian players in the Open Era.

Flavia Pennetta: A Trailblazing Champion

Flavia Pennetta’s journey from a young talent to a Grand Slam champion is nothing short of inspirational. She was a consistent player throughout her career but never scratched the surface of the top 10. Even though she had powerful groundstrokes, fierce determination, and captivating style of play, her game lacked something. That is until she secured her spot in tennis history by becoming the first Italian woman to win the US Open singles title at the 2015 US Open, cementing her legacy as a Hall of Famer. She would immediately retire following this win. 

Adriano Panatta: The Clay Court Maestro

Adriano Panatta’s prowess on clay courts allowed him incredible success on the surface. His crowning achievement came at the 1976 French Open, where he triumphed as the champion. Panatta’s unique playing style, coupled with his unyielding determination, made him a force to be reckoned with on the clay surface. His French Open victory remains a standout moment in Italian tennis history.

Fabio Fognini: The Enigmatic Shotmaker

Known for his unpredictable shotmaking and fiery on-court personality, Fabio Fognini has been a prominent figure in modern Italian tennis. Fognini’s remarkable ability to produce incredible winners from seemingly impossible positions has earned him a devoted fan base. His career-best ranking of World No. 9 in 2019 solidifies his place among the top Italian players of the last four decades. His best showing was a win against Rafa Nadal on his way to the 2019 Monte Carlo Masters triumph. 

Francesca Schiavone: The Roland Garros Conqueror

Francesca Schiavone etched her name in tennis history by becoming the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam singles title at the 2010 French Open. Her stylish one-handed backhand and exceptional work ethic propelled her to great heights. Schiavone’s triumph in Paris showcased her resilience and marked her as one of Italy’s tennis legends. She would again reach the French Open final in 2011 only to be defeated by Li Na of China. 

Matteo Berrettini: A Modern Powerhouse

Matteo Berrettini’s ascent in the tennis world has been a breath of fresh air. With a booming serve and aggressive style of play, Berrettini has proven himself on both hard and grass courts. His breakthrough moment came in 2021 when he reached the Finals of Wimbledon. Although struggling with injuries the last two years, a Wimbledon title is still within his reach. 

Honorable Mentions: 

Italian Players in the Top 10 Several Italian players have showcased their talents by gracing the top 10 rankings in the past 40 years. Players like Corrado Barazzutti, Alberto Mancini, and Sara Errani have left their mark on the sport and contributed to Italy’s strong presence in tennis.

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