World number 13 and local lad Fabio Fognini will take on Frenchman Ugo Humbert in the second round of the 2020 ATP Italian Open on Wednesday, September 16. The exact match timing is yet to be determined. Get the live streaming options of this Fabio Fognini v Ugo Humbert match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Fabio Fognini v Ugo Humbert Head to Head
This will be the first time that Fognini and Humbert will be involved in a competitive match at this level.
Fognini on Four-Match Losing Streak on Tour
When Fognini made it to the fourth round at the Australian Open, he wouldn’t have known that was the last match he would win on the tour for nearly eight months. The situation with the pandemic hasn’t obviously helped and Fognini did win one Davis Cup encounter but other than that has lost four in a row.
A fourth round loss at the Australian Open against Tennys Sandgren would have hurt given it was a golden opportunity to make it to his first ever quarterfinal at a non-clay Grand Slam. That, however, was followed by an opening round defeat at Rotterdam and Dubai before the tour went on a break.
On return, Fognini opted not to travel to the US or play in any of the Challenger competitions on clay, which is why when he finally took to court for his opening round match against the 218th-ranked Andrea-Marc Huesler at Kitzbuhel, things turned quite ugly.
Fognini took a beating, a bad one at that, losing 6-1, 6-2 and will now look to start from scratch here given the lack of game time as well. The good news is that first match is out of the way and it cannot get too much worse as Fognini slowly looks to build back towards the French Open.
Auckland Winner Humbert Struggles on Clay
Having won his maiden ATP title earlier this year at the Auckland Open, Humbert came into the Italian Open without any clay court matches under his belt. It was the first tournament he was playing on red dirt when he took on Kevin Anderson in the first round here at Rome and gave an excellent display of his capabilities.
Humbert won 6-3, 7-6 to win his first match on clay since May 2019, when he had won his opening round encounter at Lyon. Other than that win, Humbert had won just one other match last season on clay and lost six, underlining his struggles on the surface.
With no title on clay at the Challengers and just one in the Futures, he could find Fognini a touch hot to handle despite the latter’s extreme rustiness and poor showing in Kitzbuhel recently.
Can Humbert frustrate the Italian enough to carve out a set for himself?
Fognini v Humbert Prediction and Tip
While Fognini did not have the greatest start to his post-break campaign, we reckon he would slowly get back to playing a much better level here against Humbert. He is 11/8 to win this, with the bookmakers reckoning Fognini will still find it tough to win which opens up a safe market for Fognini to win a set.
Tip: Fognini to win a set – Yes: 4/7 (bet365)