Match of the Day: Fabio Fognini vs. Karen Khachanov, Rotterdam

Match of the Day: Fabio Fognini vs. Karen Khachanov, Rotterdam

The Russian excels on indoor hard courts, and with his track record, enters as a heavy favorite against Fognini in this top-notch opener on Tuesday.

Fabio Fognini is aging like a fine wine. The 32-year-old has finished inside the Top 15 of the ATP rankings each of the last two years.

After a 2019 Golden Swing to forget, where he lost in the first round of Cordoba, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, Fognini has decided to switch up his schedule and test his indoor game a little earlier than normal. 

The change of scenery didn't bring the No. 5 seed good fortune, as he received a rotten draw. Fognini's first-round opponent, world No. 17 Karen Khachanov, excels on indoor hard courts. All three of Khachanov’s 2018 titles came indoors.

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Trying to predict a Fognini match is a fool's errand, but the Italian appears to be in a tough spot. The oddsmakers agree, as Khachanov is a fairly heavy (-210) favorite to advance. 

The courts in Rotterdam are slow and gritty, just how the 6’6” Khachanov likes it. The Russian’s heavy kick-serve and forehand should cause problems for Fognini, who will have trouble breaking serve. Fognini and Khachanov are evenly matched according to both ATP ranking and their trending UTR—and have split their only two meetings.

Khachanov’s indoor hard court prowess should make the difference in this top-notch opener from Rotterdam. 

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