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Madrid Open 2021: Matteo Berrettini vs Fabio Fognini preview, head-to-head & prediction

Matteo Berrettini
Matteo Berrettini
Rudra Biswas
ANALYST
Modified 04 May 2021
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Match details

Fixture: (8) Matteo Berrettini vs Fabio Fognini

Date: 4 May 2021

Tournament: Mutua Madrid Open 2021

Round: Second round (Round of 32)

Venue: Madrid, Spain

Category: ATP Masters 1000

Surface: Red clay

Prize money: €2,614,465

Match timing: Approx. 3 pm local time, 6.30 pm IST

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video

Matteo Berrettini vs Fabio Fognini preview

Eighth seed Matteo Berrettini takes on his countryman Fabio Fognini in the second round at the Madrid Open on Tuesday.

Berrettini didn't have a great start to 2021, as he was forced to withdraw from his Australian Open fourth-round match against Stefanos Tsitsipas due to an abdominal tear. After spending more than a month on the sidelines, the Italian eventually found his form again at the Serbia Open last week - where he won the title.

Berrettini will now be looking to go deep at the Caja Magica too.

Fabio Fognini, meanwhile, looked close to his best during his quarterfinal run at Monte Carlo. The Italian had struggled to find his rhythm after undergoing ankle surgery last year, but he now seems in the groove again.

In his Madrid opener on Monday, Fognini overcame a second-set blip against qualifier Carlos Taberner to advance to the second round. The deciding set started with the two players exchanging service breaks, but Fognini broke again before running away with a 6-7(4), 2-6, 6-3 victory.

Matteo Berrettini vs Fabio Fognini head-to-head

Fabio Fognini leads Matteo Berrettini by a margin of 1-0 in the head-to-head. Their only encounter came in the second round of the 2017 Italian Open, where Fognini beat his younger opponent in straight sets.

Matteo Berrettini vs Fabio Fognini prediction

Matteo Berrettini will be looking for his first victory in his rivalry with Fabio Fognini, who is considered something of an elder statesman in Italian tennis right now.

Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini during this year
Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini during this year's ATP Cup

Berrettini has been in great form lately and is looking even better than he did in 2019, his breakout year. During his Belgrade campaign Berrettini got broken just thrice in four matches, with two of those coming in the final against Aslan Karatsev.

Fognini, on the other hand, has stumbled at several important junctures this year due to fitness issues. Having said that, the 33-year-old is a dangerous opponent for anyone on clay. Fognini possesses impeccable timing off both wings (especially the two-handed backhand), and has incredible finesse too.

But Fognini would still have an uphill task staying with Berrettini, who has been playing with increased self-belief this season. All things considered, Fognini might not have enough to defuse his younger compatriot's ultra-aggressive game when they meet in the second round on Tuesday.

Prediction: Matteo Berrettini to win in straight sets.

Published 04 May 2021
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