Italy’s Fabio Fognini begins his 2020 French Open campaign against Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin on Monday, September 28. The match will begin at 11 am local time local time (10 am BST or 5 am Eastern Time). Get the live streaming options of this Fabio Fognini v Mikhail Kukushkin match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Fabio Fognini v Mikhail Kukushkin Head to Head
The two have shared the spoils in their previous four encounters, with Kukushkin winning in Moscow in 2009 and 2014, and Fognini winning their most recent encounters in Munich (2016) and Beijing (last year).
Form an Issue For Fognini
Clay is where Fabio Fognini thrives on. It’s a surface on which the 33-year-old Italian has won eight of his nine singles titles; but things have been tough for the 14th seed this year as he comes to Roland Garros with a 5-8 win-loss record in 2020.
The Italian, who won his maiden Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo last year, is one of the very few players to have beaten Rafael Nadal thrice on clay.
But this year, Fognini has looked out of sorts on his favourite surface, losing to Marc-Andrea Huesler in the first round at the Austrian Open, and then exiting his home open without winning a set. He did win a match at the German Open, beating Phillip Kohlschreiber in three, but was bundled out by Casper Ruud in the next round.
Ranked 15th in the world, Fognini’s best performance at a Grand Slam came in 2011 when he reached the quarterfinals of the French Open. In his last two appearances at Roland Garros, he made it to the Round of 16. He also made it that far at the Australian Open, earlier this year, but was beaten by Tennys Sandgren.
Despite his poor form, Fognini will be seen as a genuine contender to make a deep run in the tournament, but for that he will have to get into the groove quickly.
Kukushkin Will Look To Better His Previous Best in Paris
Facing Fognini in the first round will be 32-year-old journeyman Mikhail Kukushkin, who reached his career best ranking of 39 last year.
Currently ranked 87th in the world, Kukushkin reached the third round of the US Open last month, where he was beaten by Jordan Thompson.
The 2010 St. Petersberg Open champion, Kukushkin has never gone beyond the fourth round of a major, having reached that far only twice (Australian Open 2012 and Wimbledon 2019).
His record at Roland Garros has been disappointing as he has never gone past the second round. He enters this year’s tournament with a 3-7 record.
Fabio Fognini v Mikhail Kukushkin Predictions & Tips
Despite Fognini’s poor form, the Italian will be the favourite to win this contest. Expect him to win this in four sets.
Tip: Fognini to win in four sets: 3/1 (bet365)