Following a successful start to his Valencia bid, Scotsman Andy Murray will advance to the second round of the tournament, where he will meet Italian No. 1 Fabio Fognini for a spot in the quarter-final round of the tournament. This marks just the third time that the two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with the Murray vs Fognini Head to Head tied at 1-1.
Following up on his title victory in Vienna last week, where he avenged his Shanghai loss to David Ferrer with a three-set come-from-behind victory for his second title of the season, Murray added to his streak in Valencia.
The world No. 10 accepted a wildcard into the tournament and began his campaign against Austria’s Jurgen Melzer. The Scot fired 10 aces, won 81% of his first service points, and saved 5 of 8 break points against him to earn the 6-3, 6-3 win in 80 minutes flat. While not his best showing, Murray played a decent match and will still be favoured to advance to the later stages of the tournament.
Fognini only needed 68 minutes to reach the second round in Valencia. He defeated qualifier Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-4, 6-2 to set up a berth against Murray. The Italian struck 3 aces, won 85% of his first service points, and faced no break points throughout the entire encounter. Overall, he won 83% of the total service points and nearly 60% of all the points played in the match.
This contest will serve as the rubber match to determine who the fortunes will favour in the head-to-head series. While split at 1-1, their last encounter took place over five years ago in Monte Carlo, where the Briton was victorious. Murray will hold the advantage in this upcoming encounter as the better overall player with a far larger arsenal than Fognini.
Prediction: Andy Murray in Straight Sets