Seeded Tommy Paul clashes with three-time ATP winner Marco Cecchinato in this second round fixture of the 2020 Sardinia Open. The match begins at around 12:40 pm local time (11:40 am BST or 6:40 am Eastern Time) on Thursday, October 15. Get the live streaming options of this Tommy Paul v Marco Cecchinato match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Tommy Paul v Marco Cecchinato Head to Head
This will be the first meeting between the two players, with no prior matchups ever.
Paul Hoping to Emulate Previous ATP Finishes of the Year
Tommy Paul comes into the match ranked 58th in the ATP rankings, just a spot shy off his best career ranking. The ranking is a good indicator of the slow but steady climb that he’s had so far in his career this year.
At the beginning of the year, he made it all the way to the semifinal of the Adelaide International, and the quarterfinal of the Mexican Open; both of which helped to propel his ranking to his then career-best.
However, since professional tennis returned, he’s struggled to replicate some of that form. Albeit he can claim that he came up against some higher rated players like Casper Ruud in the French Open and Grigor Dimitrov in the US Open.
He now finds himself in the second round of a competition that should easily see him replicate the form that he showed in Adelaide and Acapulco.
He came in as the tournament’s seventh seed and handled the nerves well in his first-round match of the tournament, coming from a set down and saving the tie from match point, which should be a morale booster for him heading into the match.
Additionally, despite his best performances of the year being on hard courts in Mexico and Australia, clay is his preferred surface, as the stats show. He has a 90-35 win record on the surface, which is a better representation than his 5-3 record for the year.
If he wants to prove his record on the surface, he’ll have to do it against Marco Cecchinato, a stalwart of clay himself.
Cecchinato, a True Wildcard
Marco Cecchinato may currently be ranked 103rd in the ATP rankings, but that number isn’t an accurate representation of the man’s true ability on a clay court. He was ranked 16th in February last year after winning the Argentina Open, but his third ATP career title seemed to have a hidden clause: first-round humiliation.
He went on a drastic run of form from May that saw him suffer first-round eliminations in 14 of his remaining 19 tournaments during that period. In 4 other tournaments, he just made it to the second round, and the only one that he made it past the second round was a challenger tournament.
That run saw his rankings drop massively; rightfully so. Yet, sadly, his form in ATP and masters tournaments this year has resembled that decline, which would explain why he was invited to the tournament as a wildcard.
But he came into the tournament fresh from the Parma Challenger—where he made it to the quarter-final—and in Roland Garros, he broke that curse and made it into the third round. Now in the second round after coming from behind in the first round to prevent an upset, he’ll be hoping to hold his own against a seeded Paul.
His statistics on clay also show his adoration for the surface: a 309-162 career record and a 19-10 record for the year— which translates to a 63% success rate — illustrates that he’ll be anything but a pushover when he faces off against the American.
Paul v Cecchinato Prediction and Tip
With both players showing mixed form and fortune before this tie, it really does seem like a hard one to call. But Tommy Paul holds a slight edge over an eccentric Cecchinato that is hard to overlook, one which the bookies seem to have overpriced.
The tie will definitely be a hard-fought one, but if the young American can manage to unnerve Cecchinato early on, then I’d had have some confidence in him overcoming the Italian in two or three sets. For now, though, I’ll go with the most sensible pick. Tommy Paul will surely take the game to an experienced Cecchinato, and should at the very least scrap a set off of him.
Tip: Tommy Paul to win a set: 8/15 (bet365)