Building his game around the forehand, Lorenzo Sonego has always acknowledged Roger Federer's and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's tennis. The 25-year-old Italian has been ranked inside the top-100 since spring 2019, playing consistent tennis and raising to another level last week in Vienna to reach the final as a lucky loser. In the quarters, Sonego stunned world no. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-2, 6-1 in 68 minutes, delivering probably the toughest loss in Djokovic's career! While taking Federer and Tsonga as his role models, Sonego said he would love to have Djokovic's backhand, despite the fact it barely existed against him in the Austrian capital. It was the first top-10 victory for the Italian, who dominated on both serve and return to leave Novak far behind and reach the semis as a lucky loser. Sonego saved all six break chances and delivered five breaks, stealing over half of the return points and closing the encounter with 26 winners and 12 unforced errors.
In the semis, Sonego toppled Daniel Evans to reach the second final in a career, facing Andrey Rublev in the trophy battle. An in-form Russian proved to be too strong, though, scoring a 6-4, 6-4 victory in an hour and 18 minutes. Like many times this season, it was a mighty impressive performance from the Moscow native, dropping nine points behind the initial shot and fending off two break chances to mount the pressure on the other side of the net.
Lorenzo Sonego would love to have Novak Djokovic's return.
Dominating with serve and forehand, Rublev fired 23 winners and 13 unforced errors, leaving the Italian on 13 winners and 17 mistakes, having the upper hand for another notable result in what has been a stellar season for him. Standing on the verge of the top-30 with those points, Sonego secured the seventh Masters 1000 victory against Alexander Bublik in Paris, playing on a high note to seal the deal in no time. In the second round, the Italian lost to Alex de Minaur in straight sets.
"My models have always been Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. If I could steal something from an opponent, however, I would choose Djokovic's return. Novak complimented me after the match in Vienna, but we didn't talk much. I was also pleased with Ivanisevic's compliments. Had I played against anyone else, I would have done it with the same determination. I was not distracted by my opponents' names, nor by what was happening off the pitch. Of course, I never expected to reach the final as a lucky loser. I had good sensations, and I felt improved, but it's always difficult to win games with such strong players. It all went well for me," Lorenzo Sonego said.