Sixth seeded Fabio Fognini will take on German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first round of the Hamburg Open 2020. The match will be played on Monday, September 21, starting at around 11 am local time (10 am BST). Get the live streaming options of this Fabio Fognini v Philipp Kohlschreiber match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Fabio Fognini v Philipp Kohlschreiber Head to Head
This is quite an interesting rivalry with the duo having played 10 matches against each other. You would expect Fognini to hold the edge but it’s Kohlschreiber who has an 8-2 lead over his Italian counterpart!
On clay too, Kohlschreiber is 4-1 ahead including one at Kitzbuhel in 2017. They last played at the Auckland Open in 2019 where Kohlschreiber won in straight sets too.
Fognini Yet to Win a Set Since Return
The last time Fognini played before the season was suspended was in the first week of March. Thereafter he opted out of playing in any exhibition matches and gave the US Open series a miss too.
Which is why when he finally featured in the Kitzbuhel Open, there was always that chance he would be rusty despite playing on a surface he relishes (how else do you describe winning a Masters title on clay in this day and age when the Big Three win almost everything!).
Rusty he was and how. Featuring against Swiss qualifier Marc-Andrea Huesler, Fognini didn’t just lose but suffered a pummelling – he won only three games. Moving on to the Rome Masters after that, things didn’t get any better for Fognini.
After an opening round bye, Fognini fell to Ugo Humbert in the second round there. Another straight-set defeat but this time there was a lot of fight shown, pushing Humbert in both sets before perishing 7-5, 7-6.
While returning back on tour after months of being away takes time, Fognini will dearly love a win or two in this competition before heading to the French Open. And he has a player against him who holds that kind of an advantage against him on head to head, making it that much difficult for him.
Kohlschreiber Also Coming off a Loss
The 36-year-old Kohlschreiber has been on the circuit for years and continues to go on and on. While the former world number 16 has fallen to 82nd in the world, Kohlschreiber is always capable of an upset or more.
That said, it hasn’t been the greatest season so far for the German. He started off with a title win at the Canberra Challenger but that was followed by struggles all around including the Australian Open where he withdrew from his second round match because of an abdominal strain.
A couple of early exits followed that before he lost his Davis Cup singles match as well.
During the pandemic break, Kohlschreiber featured in the International Premier League where he won four of the five matches he featured in. Unfortunately for him that didn’t help him too much once the season resumed with back to back first round losses at the US Open and Kitzbuhel to Jannik Sinner.
While form might not be on his side, can he take the mental edge he has over Fognini in this one?
Fognini v Kohlschreiber Prediction and Tip
Fognini will be a favourite but not expecting this to be a straightforward encounter for him. Three-setter expected.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 6/4 (bet365)