Fabio Fognini vs Alexander Zverev French Open Picks & Predictions - 6/3/2019
Fabio Fognini vs Alexander Zverev
4am EST, 3rd June 2019
Roland Garros (Paris, France)
We are slowly getting into the second phase of the Grand slam tournament and it's time to dive into some stats and crunch numbers on what these guys did in the last couple of matches. Alexander Zverev is at the top in some negative categories, such as the double faults total. His count at the moment is 31, averaging double digits per match. In his last one, he had 14. Other serving stats were far from impressive as well because he was putting only 61% of his first serves into the court and had quite terrible win rate with his second serve, getting only 18 out of 53 in those situations. It's a recurring theme for him in this tournament, because he failed to top 50% in any of his matches this week, looking at that category. At this point, you might ask yourself, how he even won that match. Easy. On the other side of the net, Lajovic was equally inept of getting anything going for himself behind his serve. Offering Zverev 19 break opportunities in total, while getting broken 8 times. I already wrote about Sascha's form in recent days. He is not playing that well for quite some time now and I believe he's in the 4th round of this tournament simply thanks to a cupcake draw that he had so far. Guys that simply choked when facing an opportunity to eliminate No.5 in the world.
That's changing in this round and it's a quite a step up in the competition. Fabio Fognini, unlike Alexander, is maybe even having the best stretch of his career in recent months. Since Monte Carlo and that huge win over Nadal, he is playing some strong clay court tennis. Lost to Thiem and Tsitsipas in Madrid and Rome which is acceptable. Overall consistency is something that we are not used to seeing from him and I like it a lot. Add that to his competitive nature in big spots and we have a perfect combination for this match. He never shied away from an opportunity to beat some of the top players. These kinds of situations draw the best out of him. And I don't even think he needs his A game to beat current version of Zverev. He dropped a set to all of his opponents so far (Seppi, Delbonis, Bautista Agut), but was never really in real danger of getting beat.
Talking about the matchup itself, they know each other very well. Played each other 3 times so far. Zverev winning both in 2017 easily, and Fognini returning the favor in Monte Carlo this year. I think we can draw many similarities between that match (which was not that long ago) and this one. Both players were in similar forms then, comparing to now. Monte Carlo has pretty slow courts, which is the case for Roland Garros as well. Weather in early April was not very warm, and the forecast for Monday is not very good either. Cloudy with the possibility of rain and temperatures below 20 degrees Celcius. It will cause playing conditions to slow down and I think that plays perfectly into Fognini's gameplan. Where Alexander's serve advantage will get nullified and put baseline exchanges in a focal point, making Fognini a big favorite in my opinion.
Betting odds & prediction
The line opened Fognini +130 and got hammered immediately. Not surprised with that move at all. Total is currently sitting at 39.5, which seems about right. If I'd have to lean one way or the other, I'd take the under. Slower conditions will take away a lot fo the easy points which they were able to get with their serve in warmer conditions. More break opportunities, more breaks, less possibility for tight sets going the distance and into the tie-break.
Guy's Pick: Fabio Fognini -111
Read more articles by Guy Bruhn
Get all of Today's Free Tennis Picks
Get all of Today's Guaranteed Expert Tennis Picks