Date: 8 August 2022
Tournament: Canadian Open 2022
Round: First round (Round of 64)
Venue: Montreal, Canada
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Prize money: $5,926,545
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | Canada - Sportsnet, TVA Sports | UK - Amazon Prime Video | India - Sports 18
Diego Schwartzman vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina preview
12th seed Diego Schwartzman will lock horns with Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the first round of the 2022 Canadian Open on August 8.
Schwartzman has had some experience playing on the hardcourt this season. The Argentine plied his trade at the ATP Cup held in Australia to kickstart his year, where he shocked everyone when he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the group stages of the tournament. However, his joy was short-lived as he could not help Argentina reach the knockouts.
Two weeks later, he experienced heartbreak once again as he was knocked out of the Australian Open in the second round. At the Cordoba Open, however, he reached the semifinals before falling to Alejandro Tabilo 3-6, 6(6)-7.
At the Argentina Open, the 29-year-old reached the final, only to lose to Casper Ruud. He replicated his form at the Rio Open, but lost to Carlos Alcaraz in the summit clash this time around. Having blown hot and cold since then, Schwartzman is coming to Montreal on the back of a first-round loss at the hands of Emil Russuvuori at the Hamburg European Open.
Davidovich Fokina, on the other hand, had a disappointing start to his season. It wasn't until the Monte-Carlo Masters that the Spaniard tasted some success. He finished the tournament as the runner-up, coming up second-best to Stefanos Tsitsipas.
En-route to the final, the World No. 35 managed to upset a few big names. In one of his best displays ever, the Spaniard got the better of 21-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic. He met Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinals and rallied to beat him 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 to book a place in the semis, where he defeated Grigor Dimitrov.
Since then, his best result has been reaching the quarterfinals, which he achieved at the Estoril Open, the Queen's Club Championships and the Hamburg European Open. Despite some big wins here and there, the World No. 35 has flattered to deceive for the most part.
Diego Schwartzman vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina head-to-head
The pair have faced each other three times before on the ATP Tour, with all meetings coming in 2020. The Argentine turned victor on all three occasions, securing a 3-0 record in the head-to-head. The last time they played against each other was at the Paris Masters, where Schwartzman comfortably won 6-1, 6-1.
Diego Schwartzman vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina odds
All odds are sourced from BetMGM
Diego Schwartzman vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
Schwartzman will be coming into the contest as the clear favorite to win. However, Davidovich Fokina has caused some major upsets in the past and it would be a huge mistake to take him lightly.
The Argentine enjoys a better win/loss percentage, 60% as compared to Davidovich Fokina's 48.6%. Another interesting aspect of Schwartzman's game is that he has almost 90% win percentage if he wins the first set. On the other hand, Davidovich Fokina has only 73.7%, meaning that the World No. 14 should look to take the break early.
Schwartzman has excellent control over his racquet swing, which helps him compensate for his relatively low height. Primarily a baseliner, the Argentine is an excellent counter-puncher who uses his opponent's power to his own advantage and is thus able to return powerful shots rather easily.
Boasting a very strong double-handed backhand, meanwhile, Davidovich Fokina likes to play sudden drop shots at crucial moments. His wide array of shots also helps him dictate the flow of a rally anytime he wishes.
A very intelligent player on the field, Davidovich Fokina will look to take advantage of Schwartzman's penchance to stay near the baseline and catch him unaware as often as possible. However, the World No. 14 is experienced enough to know how to deal with such opponents and will favor his chances against the Spaniard.
Pick: Diego Schwartzman to win in three sets.