Date: 10 April 2021
Tournament: Sardegna Open 2021
Venue: Cagliari, Italy
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €408,800
Match timing: 12 pm local time, 3.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Eurosport
Taylor Fritz vs Lorenzo Sonego preview
Looking to capture his first ATP title in about two years, Taylor Fritz will take on Italy's Lorenzo Sonego for a place in the Cagliari final on Saturday.
Fritz, who is seeded second at the 2021 Sardegna Open, last won a title at Eastbourne in 2019. The American has had little luck in the later stages of tournaments since then, having stumbled at the last hurdle several times.
Fritz registered a third-round appearance at the Australian Open this year, beating the likes of Denis Shapovalov and David Goffin before losing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic. The 23-year-old also reached the semifinals in Doha, where he went down to the eventual champion again - Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Fritz then had a quiet time for a few tournaments, before getting back to his best in Cagliari this week. The American hasn't dropped a single set at the claycourt event so far, beating Aljaz Bedene and Andrej Martin with relative ease.
Lorenzo Sonego meanwhile had started the new year in disappointing fashion, losing five of his first eight matches. But the Italian has since steadied the ship, giving a tough fight to eventual champion Aslan Karatsev in Dubai before reaching the fourth round at Miami (where he lost to World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas).
Sonego was on the ropes during his quarterfinal match at the Sardegna Open, trailing Yannick Hanfmann by a set and a break. But the 25-year-old dug in and broke Hanfmann while he was serving for the match, before outplaying him in the third set.
Taylor Fritz vs Lorenzo Sonego head-to-head
Taylor Fritz leads Lorenzo Sonego by a margin of 2-1 in the head-to-head. While Sonego recorded his first victory in the rivalry at last year's French Open, both of Fritz's wins over the Italian have come outside clay (Wimbledon 2018 and Doha 2021).
Taylor Fritz vs Lorenzo Sonego prediction
Although Taylor Fritz doesn't have a lot of experience on clay, he does have powerful groundstrokes and a big serve - which should theoretically make him tough to beat on any surface. But Fritz struggles to be consistent when drawn into long rallies, and often makes costly errors under pressure.
Lorenzo Sonego, on the other hand, has played on clay all his life. The Italian has a strong forehand that he likes to club with spin and pace, while also being equipped with a solid two-handed backhand. Even when Sonego is not aiming for the lines with his groundstrokes, he still plays with enough stability and direction to hold his own from the baseline.
While Fritz is certainly the more experienced of the two, Sonego is more skilled when it comes to playing on clay. That makes the Italian a slight favorite in this match-up, even when you take Fritz's strong form into account.
Prediction: Lorenzo Sonego to win in three sets.