Fixture: Feliciano Lopez vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert
Date: 9 September 2020
Tournament: ATP Generali Open 2020
Round: First round (Round of 32)
Venue: Kitzbuhel, Austria
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €400,335
Match timing: 3.30 pm CEST, 7 pm IST
Feliciano Lopez vs Pierre-HuguesHerbert preview
After a sub-par showing at the US Open, Spain's Feliciano Lopez will be looking for some redemption in Kitzbuhel when he takes on France's Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the first round of the 2020 Generali Open.
Lopez has been way off his mark lately, having compiled a 3-7 W-L record in competitive matches this season. Age has seemingly caught up with the Spaniard, and his game is not clean or efficient anymore.
The 38-year old's passivity was on display in his first round match against fellow countryman Roberto Carballes Baena in New York. Lopez hit 11 double faults and 74 unforced errors to lose tamely to his less-experienced opponent.
World No. 69 Pierre-Hugues Herbert has not been very impressive in 2020 either. Barring a semifinal finish at the Prague Challenger last month, the Frenchman has had a modest season which has seen him compile a 17-10 W-L record.
Two of those wins came in the qualifying rounds of the Generali Open this week, where Herbert beat a couple of low-ranked players to make the main draw of the tournament.
The Frenchman's worst moment of the season came last week at the Prague 2 Challenger, where he wasted five set points against Lukas Rosol in the opening set before losing in three.
Feliciano Lopez vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert head-to-head
World No. 57 Feliciano Lopez leads Pierre-Hugues Herbert by a margin of 2-1 in the head-to-head. Their most recent encounter came three years ago at the Paris Masters, where Lopez beat his younger opponent in straight sets.
Before that meeting, Herbert had defeated the Spaniard in straight sets at Rotterdam.
Feliciano Lopez vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert prediction
Feliciano Lopez is far removed from his prime years, with his serve and groudstrokes having regressed over the years.
The former World No. 11 never had a consistent backhand, and was dependent on his slice to disrupt the rhythm of his opponents. But on the slow clay of the Generali Open, the veteran's slice would be blunted to a great extent.
Pierre-Hugues Herbert meanwhile is still at the peak of his physical powers, but he hasn't made deep inroads in too many tournaments lately. Moreover, the Frenchman's serve has been misfiring ever since the tour resumed, which has prevented him from closing out matches with ease.
All things considered, Lopez might have an edge in this one given his experience and Herbert's recent struggles.
Prediction: Feliciano Lopez to win in straight sets.