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Matteo Berrettini, who began the year at No. 54 in the ATP Rankings, cracks the Top 10 for the first time.

Berrettini's Breakthrough: Matteo Becomes Fourth Italian To Crack The Top 10

23-year-old becomes sixth player to crack the elite group in 2019

Before this season, only two Italians had ever cracked the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings. In less than five months, that number has doubled.

Following in the footsteps of Fabio Fognini, who achieved the feat in June, Matteo Berrettini broke into the Top 10 for the first time on Monday, adding to a historic year in Italian tennis. The 23-year-old, who finished 2018 as the World No. 54, climbed to World No. 9 after reaching the semi-finals of the Erste Bank Open.

”It is crazy, because we had to wait a lot,” said Berrettini. “Fabio won a crazy tournament [in Monte-Carlo], he was playing so good. He was looking for this achievement a bit longer than me, he [has had] a really great career. After winning an ATP Masters 1000 [title], the Top 10 is the next step, so I was happy for him and now I am super proud of myself.”

Berrettini is the sixth player this season to break into the Top 10 for the first time. That is the most in a single campaign since 2006, when eight players did it. In 2018, only Lucas Pouille made his Top 10 debut.

”[It is] tough to believe, I have to say,” said Berrettini. “It was an unbelievable run this year with a lot of matches, a lot of new experiences and great tournaments.”

Other active Italians — Andreas Seppi and Marco Cecchinato — have made the Top 20 in recent years, but Fognini and Berrettini joined former World No. 4 Adriano Panatta and Corrado Barazzutti as the only men to move into the Top 10.

 Player  Career-High  First Broke Into Top 10
 Adriano Panatta  No. 4  23 August 1973
 Corrado Barazzutti  No. 7  6 March 1978
 Fabio Fognini  No. 9  10 June 2019
 Matteo Berrettini  No. 9  28 October 2019

“It is a very good year for Italian tennis, two guys breaking into the Top 10 with Fabio and Matteo after so many years. Especially now, with Matteo having the chance to qualify for [London]. He is in a good position, so of course it is very positive,” Seppi said. “For sure it is a very special year for Italian tennis.”

Berrettini will now turn his attention to the Rolex Paris Masters, where he has a lot at stake. Although he is No. 9 in the ATP Rankings, Berrettini is in eighth place in the ATP Race To London, putting him in position to qualify for the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 10-17 November.

Berrettini is the 10th seed at the season’s final ATP Masters 1000 event, and he can guarantee his spot in London by making the final. The Italian will face Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Russian Andrey Rublev in his opener.

Berrettini's 2019 Highlights
- Titles: Budapest, Stuttgart
- Final: Munich
- Semi-finals: US Open, Shanghai, Halle, Vienna, Sofia