Fabio Fognini vs Casper Ruud: Hamburg Open Preview and Prediction
Sixth seed Fabio Fognini locks horns against the in-form Casper Ruud in the pre-quarterfinals of the Hamburg Open.
Trailing by a set, Fognini overcame the veteran Phillip Kohlschreiber 4-6 6-1 7-5. It was his first victory after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on both his ankles.
On the other hand, Ruud who was behind by a break against Benoit Paire won 6-4 2-0 after Paire retired hurt. The Frenchman dropped a bombshell later by disclosing that he played the match despite testing positive twice for coronavirus.
Head to Head record
Ruud leads the head to head record 1-0 against Fognini. This is their first meeting on the clay surface. After an early exit in the Rome Masters, the Italian has recouped in Hamburg.
Ruud has all the elements in his game apt for success on the red dirt. With his speedy footwork, excellent defense, and topspin-oriented attacking game from the baseline, he can pose a lot of tough questions for Fognini.
The Italian depends more on his solid groundstrokes and possesses great timing on both wings by taking the ball early.
Ruud would rely on his forehand to do the damage. Fognini will aim to punish all the short balls coming from the top of the baseline. Fognini has still not come back to peak form after undergoing ankle surgery and has to be at his best in the long rallies against Ruud.
The Norwegian would be more confident of his abilities with his fantastic form and rapid strides made in clay this year. Having removed all rustiness from his game, Fognini would look to get into the groove quickly and depend on his experience to outsmart Ruud.
The Italian cannot afford a slow start as Ruud may run away with the match. He must improve his shaky second-serve and lift his abysmal breakpoint conversion. The Norwegian will hope that his first serve stays strong throughout the match.
Prediction - Fabio Fognini to win in three sets
Featured image credits: Getty Images
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