Fabio Fognini is back in the winners circle, earning the biggest title of his career at the Monte Carlo Masters. The 31-year-old swept aside Dusan Lajovic in a straight-set victory in the final, 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday.

It is the Italian's first title of the year, marking his 9th overall and first Masters title. He rises to a career-high ranking of No. 12. 

"I mean, I'm happy because I just won a tournament. The consequence is best ranking, whatever we can call it," Fognini said. But just feel happy because I won a big tournament that was always my goal in my career."

Fognini nearly bowed out in the first round after going down a set and 5-1 to Andrey Rublev. In the semifinals, he also had to get past Rafael Nadal, who had won the Monte Carlo title 11 times and was, obviously, the heavy favorite.

Fognini becomes the second oldest player to win his first ATP Masters title, only a year behind John Isner who the Miami Open last year.

Fognini also becomes the first Italian Monte Carlo champion since Nicola Pietrangeli in 1968. 

"I have everything in my life," he said. "That's true. I feel happy because—of course happy because when you do your work and you do it great and win, in that case, we are talking about winning a big title, I have to be happy."