Number 10 seed Fabio Fognini will play former top-10 player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round of the Italian Open on Monday, May 13. The timings for this match are yet to be confirmed. You can find the Fabio Fognini v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga live streaming options, preview and predictions here.
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Fabio Fognini v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Head to Head
Fognini and Tsonga have played each other five times on tour. The Frenchman leads the head-to-head 4-1, although their last meeting was over two years ago (Indian Wells Masters) where Fognini picked up his first win.
Can ‘The Fog’ Repeat His Monte Carlo Heroics At Home?
Fabio Fognini has turned a corner and turned his 2019 season around. On the back of his most decorated year on tour in 2018, the Italian had won three ATP titles (Sao Paulo, Bastad and Los Cabos) and ended the year at his then career high ranking of No.13.
Had it not been for Bernard Tomic’s miraculous championship-point save in Chengdu and the ankle injury suffered prior to Shanghai, the Italian would have had a genuine chance of reaching the Top 10 and potentially qualifying for ATP Finals on the Race To London.
It was the ankle coupled with the elbow which happened to derail Fognini’s 2019 season. His wife, former US Open champion Flavia Pennetta had cited his lack of mental preparation being the key element in his shocking losses during the first quarter of the year.
Following the Australian Open, Fognini would win only one match of his next seven, suffering four successive defeats in the process. He made it clear of the elbow injury and plans to have surgery post-French Open.
However, he turned his bad form around quite spectacularly at Monte Carlo Masters where he defeated reigning champion Rafael Nadal in the semifinals en route to his first Masters 1000 title. That result propelled the Italian back to being his country’s No.1 after briefly losing that tag to Marco Cecchinato. He would also eclipse his best career ranking by a spot and currently sits at No.12.
Fognini lost in the Round of 16 in Madrid to Dominic Thiem, but his recent record in Rome could give him the platform to record another unlikely triumph.
Tsonga Still Feeling Effects Of Injury
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is a former top-10 player but he is currently hovering just inside the top-100 and uses a protective ranking to gain entry into most tournaments. The Frenchman underwent knee surgery in April 2018 and his comeback was largely unsuccessful last year.
He started the 2019 season with soem excellent results during the hard courts in the first quarter of the year. The 34-year-old reached the semifinals in Brisbane, and then lost in second round at the Australian Open to eventual champion Novak Djokovic.
Tsonga captured his first title in almost two years when he beat compatriot Pierre-Hugues Herbert at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier in February. That was the Frenchman’s best result post-surgery.
He failed to qualify for the March Masters due to his low ranking. In his first clay-court tournament of the season at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech, Tsonga lost in the semifinals to Benoit Paire. He followed that defeat with another in Monte Carlo when he retired from a persistent knee problem against Taylor Fritz.
Fognini v Tsonga Predictions & Tips
Fognini is odds-on favorite to win here given his strong performances on the European clay swing. He will also be playing in front of his home crowd in Rome who would dearly love for ‘The Fog’ to go one better this year and reach the semis and possibly even the final. He should be too strong for Tsonga.
Tip: Fognini to win in straight sets: 11/10 (888Sport)