ATP Valencia Open 2013 QF: Fabio Fognini vs Nicolas Almagro Preview

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An interesting match-up between Fabio Fognini (Player Profile) and Nicolas Almagro (Player Profile) takes place in the quarter-final of the Valencia Open 2013 today afternoon. The Italian is hunting for his first title of the season, after winning his both his career title in 2013, whilst Almagro is hoping to secure his first title of the season. Check out the Almagro vs Fognini Head to Head.

The seventh-seeded Fognini dispatched of Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-2 in his second round match-up yesterday. He won 71% of his points on first serve and secured four break points to win the match in 59 minutes. The Italian is experiencing a career-best season, having won his first ATP Tour title in Stuttgart and followed it up a week later with his second tour title with a win in Hamburg. He also broke into the top 20 for the first time in his career, and is now ranked at No. 17. While this may be the case, his hard court record this season is quite poor as he holds a 12-13 record on that surface.

Spanish no. 2 Nicolas Almagro defeated qualifier Michal Przysiezny 6-4, 7-5 to reach his 11th quarter-final of the season. Almagro, who won the Valencia title in 2006 and 2007, hit 8 aces and won 31 of 39 points on first serve to finish the match in 81 minutes. Almagro has slight hope of reaching the tour finals and will be competing with the Italian for that potential spot.

Almagro will be looking to avenge a stinging loss to Fognini earlier this year in Hamburg, where the Spaniard lost in three sets to the eventual champion. While Almagro holds a 3-2 lead in the Head-to-Head record, Fognini has won their most recent encounters, second-of-which came back in 2009. That means that the last time that Almagro toppled the rising Italian was over four years ago. In five matches, they have only met once on hard courts, which also happens to be their only Grand Slam encounter. Almagro won that match in Melbourne in four sets. At this point in the season, Fognini may be carrying more confidence and momentum and that could be the difference tomorrow afternoon.

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