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Flavia: Fatherhood Helped Fabio Fulfill Potential

Flavia Pennetta knows why husband Fabio Fognini is playing his best tennis these days.


More: Federer Defends Fans 

The 2015 US Open champion says becoming a father to the couple's son, Federico, who celebrates his second birthday on Sunday, has turned Fabio into a man.

"I'm happy with Fabio because also I think he improved a lot as a person," Pennetta told Nick McCarvel in an ATP Tennis Radio interview today. "When I meet him for the first time he was really young and now he's become a man. A lot of things changed in his life, in our life, after Federico comes.

"I'm really happy for him because now he's living the best moment of his career and looks like he's in peace on court (laughs) and he tries to play every match the best he can. And I think it's really important for him because he's so talented, he plays really well and he deserves to be on the top of the circuit."

Last month, the 31-year-old Fognini shocked 11-time champion Rafael Nadal in the semifinals then defeated Dusan Lajovic, 6-3, 6-4, in Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters final to capture the biggest title of his career and make history as the first Italian to claim a Masters 1000 championship. 

Pennetta, who beat buddy Roberta Vinci in the first all-Italian Grand Slam final at the US Open, believes her husband has become more patient and mature since their son's birth.

"I think (fatherhood is) helping a lot Fabio," Pennetta said. "When you become a father, everything changes. You have this little man that is there for you and you have to do everything for him. So you need time for every change he make to learn every day because every day is different.

"For Fabio, he likes everything fast and easy. It's a really big change so I think to be a father, for him, is the best change of his life."

Photo credit: Armani