A match-up with unlimited entertainment potential is scheduled to take place in the third round in Paris, as Italian No. 1 Fabio Fognini and flying Frenchman Gael Monfils meet for a spot in the fourth round of the French Open. This marks the sixth time these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, with Fognini leading the head-to-head series 3-2.
World No. 15 Fabio Fognini reached the third round in Paris with a victory over Thomaz Bellucci. He defeated the 108 ranked Brazilian 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(2) to advance in two hours and six minutes. Fognini played a slightly messy game at parts, as he hit 30 winners to his 39 unforced errors, leaving him with a negative ratio in that regard.
Next for Fognini is a match-up against another entertaining, albeit unpredictable athlete in Gael Monfils.
“Against Gaël, it’s always difficult,” said Fognini. “We play always a great match, great fight. It won’t be boring, not for sure, I think. But it’s going to be an interesting match, for sure. We have known each other very well since juniors.”
Monfils reached the third round with a straight sets win over Jan-Lennard Struff, whom he defeted 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-1. Monfils also attempted an incredible superman dive during the match – a testament to his thrilling on-court antics, which make him a cult favourite in all countries.
The Frenchman is aware of the task at hand, as he lost his most recent match-up against Fognini at Indian Wells this year.
“With Fabio sometimes we can play beautiful matches, but sometimes matches can go astray or maybe him more than me,” said Monfils. “So whatever happens, I will have to let him know that I’m playing home and if he wants to get me he’ll have to be strong. I know he’s strong right now, which is exciting for me.”
This marks the sixth time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Fognini leading the series 3-2. The Italian also holds the lead in clay court encounters (2-1) including a French Open encounter in 2010 that went five sets. It is not hard to imagine a similar encounter this time around,.
Prediction: Fabio Fognini in Five Sets