WATCH: Sonego pushes Djokovic in high-quality Rome semifinal

Once again playing in front of his home fans at Parma's at the Emilia-Romagna Open, Lorenzo Sonego hopes to continue his winning ways ahead of the French Open. The Italian will look to defeat Sebastian Korda for the second time this year, after handling the rising American, 6-3, 6-2, in Montpellier three months ago.

Both the crowd and current form will be on Sonego’s side come Wednesday. While Korda earned a straight-set win over Andreas Seppi in his first round, clay has never been the 37-year-old's favorite surface. Korda’s swing on European red dirt has been a forgettable one, as he’s earned just two wins compared to five losses since making a strong quarterfinal run in Miami.

Sonego is an emotional player who undoubtedly feeds from the crowd’s energy, and he’s playing some of the best tennis of his life. In Rome, he scored wins over Dominic Thiem and Andrey Rublev, before falling to Novak Djokovic in a classic semifinal encounter. According to the oddsmakers, Sonego is listed as a -215 favorite and projected to win by 3.5 games.


Korda will likely have the advantage in backhand exchanges, so look for Sonego to hit a sharp angle in order to open up room to find his forehand, like he does here.

If Korda allows Sonego to consistently find his forehand, it will be a long day at the office for the American.


When given the opportunity, look for Korda to crack his backhand to take control of the point. Korda’s two-hander is one of the smoothest, most technically sound shots on tour.

But in the end, I’m not sure what Korda’s done on clay to warrant this close of a line. Perhaps the oddsmakers know something we don’t, but all signs seem to point to a convincing win for the Italian.

The Pick: Lorenzo Sonego