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Hamburg Open 2020: Fabio Fognini vs Casper Ruud preview, head-to-head & prediction

Fabio Fognini won the 2019 Monte Carlo Rolex Masters
Fabio Fognini won the 2019 Monte Carlo Rolex Masters
Rudra Biswas
ANALYST
Modified 23 Sep 2020, 20:39 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Fabio Fognini vs Casper Ruud

Date: 24 September 2020

Tournament: Hamburg European Open 2020

Round: Second round (Round of 16)

Venue: Hamburg, Germany

Category: ATP 500

Surface: Red clay

Prize money: €1,062,520

Match timing: Not before 6.30 pm CEST, 10 pm IST

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Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six

Fabio Fognini vs Casper Ruud preview

Casper Ruud hits a forehand
Casper Ruud hits a forehand

Norway's Casper Ruud will be looking to continue his good run of form in Hamburg when he takes on sixth seed Fabio Fognini for a place in the quarterfinals of the 2020 Hamburg Open.

The World No. 30 has enjoyed breakout success in 2020, having won his maiden ATP Tour title in Buenos Aires earlier this year.

Since tennis has resumed in August, Ruud has continued to get better. The Norwegian upset World No. 8 Matteo Berrettini en route a semifinal finish at the Italian Open in Rome.

Ruud also competed well against Novak Djokovic in the semifinal encounter but eventually lost in straight sets to the World No. 1.

The Norwegian has carried that good vein of form into Hamburg. In his opening match against Benoit Paire, Ruud led his opponent by a set and a break before the Frenchman retired from the match.

World No.15 Fabio Fognini, on the other hand, has not been 100% fit following the resumption of tennis. Fognini recently had an ankle surgery and has clearly not recovered fully from it yet. However, that did not stop him from getting his first win on tour in months at the Hamburg Open.

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Fognini came from a set down to beat fellow veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber on Tuesday in a tightly contested affair.

The 33-year-old remains a formidable opponent on clay, regardless of his fitness issues. Fognini had won the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters in 2019, defeating 'The King of Clay' Rafael Nadal himself in the semis.

Fabio Fognini vs Casper Ruud head-to-head

Casper Ruud beat Fabio Fognini at the ATP Cup
Casper Ruud beat Fabio Fognini at the ATP Cup

Casper Ruud leads Fabio Fognini 1-0 in head-to-head matchups. Their solitary encounter took place at the ATP Cup where Ruud thrashed Fognini 6-2, 6-2.

Fabio Fognini vs Casper Ruud prediction

Fabio Fognini has not been fully fit
Fabio Fognini has not been fully fit

Casper Ruud has been on a roll on clay in 2020. He plays a heavy topspin-oriented game from behind the baseline, with speedy footwork and excellent defense.

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Ruud's forehand is arguably the heaviest on tour right now as per charted data. The Norwegian packs in loads of RPMs along with great pace on the shot.

All of that makes the 21-year-old a real handful, especially on the red dirt.

Fabio Fognini meanwhile is a bit more laid-back in his groundstrokes. However, the Italian possesses great timing on both wings and likes taking the ball early.

If Ruud's forehand is not in its usual range, Fognini could punish any short balls from the top of the baseline. But it must be noted that Fognini is not at full strength yet, so he'll have an uphill task staying with his younger opponent in the long exchanges.

Prediction: Casper Ruud to win in three sets.

Published 23 Sep 2020, 18:19 IST
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