Fabio Fognini vs Phillip Kohlschreiber: Hamburg Open Preview and Prediction
Sixth seed Fabio Fognini kickstarts his Hamburg Open campaign against homeboy, Phillip Kohlschreiber.
Fognini is coming into this tournament after a straight-set loss to Ugo Humbert at the Rome Masters. A lacklustre first-serve percentage of 54 let down the Italian. Kohlschreiber is coming off a loss to Jannik Sinner at the Generali Open in Kitzbuhel.
Head to Head record
Kohlschreiber leads the head to head record 7-2. Fognini has won only once on clay against Kohlschreiber in the Stuttgart Open finals in 2013. Having undergone arthroscopic surgery on both his ankles recently, the Italian has looked far away from his best.
He was out of sorts against Humbert with his struggling footwork and laboured movement. But, he is much more comfortable on clay and would be desperate to hit the deck running. He will have a tough challenge at hand against Kohlschreiber who has strong groundstrokes.
He is solid on the baseline and has immense experience in clay. While he may not be in the best of form in recent times, he definitely has the mental edge over Fognini.
Strengths of Fognini
Fognini is an attacking player and possesses excellent variations in his arsenal with tricky drop shots and short slices. His backhand is effective down-the-line as well as cross-court. His serve is quite inconsistent and lacks speed. His inside-out forehand helps him to take control of the rallies.
Strengths of Kohlschreiber
He is a competent volleyer and has been on the tour for a long time. He uses his one-handed backhand to dictate the rallies and can trouble Fognini with a mix of slices and topspin. Having won a majority of titles on the clay surface in his career, Kohlschreiber loves playing on the red dirt and this might be the time of the year for him to spring a few more surprises.
Both Fognini and Kohlschreiber have had a dismal season so far and would look to get into peak form ahead of the French Open.
Prediction - Fabio Fognini to win in three sets
Featured image credits: vamostennischannel