Fixture: Fabio Fognini vs Roberto Carballes Baena
Date: 14 October 2020
Tournament: Forte Village Sardegna Open 2020
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Sardinia, Italy
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: Approx. €271,345
Match timing: Approx. 2 pm CEST, 5.30 pm IST
Live Telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Fabio Fognini vs Roberto Carballes Baena preview
Fabio Fognini, the top seed at the newly minted Forte Village Sardegna Open, enters the tournament looking to end his poor recent run on the tour.
The Italian has had a mostly forgettable 2020 in terms of results - especially since the tour's resumption in August. And he will have his work cut out against a potentially tricky first opponent in Sardinia.
Awaiting Fognini in the Round of 16 is Roberto Carballes Baena, the 27-year-old Spaniard who shocked Denis Shapovalov at the recently concluded Roland Garros.
For Carballes Baena, reaching the third round at a Major for the first time in a near-decade-long career was nothing short of a highlight. He is likely to draw a lot of confidence from that win, especially heading into matches again similarly big names.
The Spaniard might even receive some help form the other end of the court on Wednesday given his opponent's recent woes. Fognini has always been prone to erratic displays, but the top seed's decision to undergo multiple ankle surgeries during the suspension seems to have taken an even bigger toll on his game.
For Fognini, this match will about trying to find his footing on the court once again. But the sluggish starts to his last few matches have proven costly, and against an opponent looking to back up his French Open run, the Italian could find himself facing a wall.
Fabio Fognini vs Roberto Carballes Baena head-to-head
The second round match on Wednesday will be the first tour meeting between Fabio Fognini and Roberto Carballes Baena, so their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
Fabio Fognini vs Roberto Carballes Baena prediction
On any other day, this match would have been an easy call. Fabio Fognini's prowess on the red dirt is not something that anyone needs reminding of. However, given the Italian's injury concerns and his opponent's newfound confidence, this one has the makings of a close contest.
Roberto Carballes Baena should be able to put up a good fight here, but you get the feeling the top seed is bound regroup at some point. A home event and an extra couple of weeks' worth of rest would have done Fognini good, and that could make all the difference in this one.
Prediction: Fabio Fognini to win in three sets.Published 14 Oct 2020, 01:05 IST