Fixture: Steve Johnson vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
Date: 21 October 2020
Tournament: bett1Hulks Championship 2020
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Cologne, Germany
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Indoor Hardcourt
Prize money: €325,610
Match timing: 2 pm CEST, 5.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Steve Johnson vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina preview
Steve Johnson got his Cologne 2 campaign off to a strong start, ousting former World No. 3 Marin Cilic in the first round. He will now square off against Spain's rising star Alejandro Davidovich Fokina for a place in the quarterfinals.
Johnson looked in sensational touch against Cilic as he fired 11 aces and had a magnificent 68% success rate on the second serve. The former US Open champion couldn't break Johnson's serve even once in the entire match.
The 30-year-old from California has played well on the faster surfaces of late. Earlier this year, he outlasted compatriot John Isner in an epic five-setter at Flushing Meadows. And at the Bett1Hulks Indoors event last week, Johnson ended fifth seed Filip Krajinovic's campaign in the first round.
That said, the American hasn't made it past the second round at any of his recent tournaments. He would be keen to change that in Cologne.
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina meanwhile has been in pretty good form himself. At the previous ATP event in Cologne, Fokina made it to the semifinals where he lost to the eventual champion Alexender Zverev. The Malaga-based player had also reached the fourth round of the US Open earlier this year.
Davidovich Fokina's recent hardcourt performances should hold him in good stead heading into his upcoming clash against Johnson.
Steve Johnson vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina head-to-head
Steve Johnson and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina have never crossed paths on the ATP Tour, so their head-to-head record currently stands at 0-0.
Steve Johnson vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina prediction
Both players played well in the first round of the Bett1Hulks Championship 2020. While Steve Johnson saved all three of the break points he faced against Marin Cilic, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina was strong with his return - he broke Damir Dzumhur's serve four times.
The American has a strong serve, but the fast-improving Spaniard will test his movement with his trademark drop shots. Given that Johnson has struggled to perform in big matches lately, coupled with the fact that Davidovich Fokina made it to the semifinals at Cologne last week, we can expect the youngster to have the upper hand in this clash.
Prediction: Alejandro Davidovich Fokina to win in straight sets.Published 21 Oct 2020, 01:04 IST