First round action of the 2019 Italian Open continues on Monday with some extremely thrilling clashes, including Fabio Fognini vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Here are our ATP Italian Open Day 2 Predictions.
ATP Italian Open Day 2 Predictions
Gael Monfils vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas
Head to head: Monfils 3-0
Ramos-Vinolas completely lacks the firepower to damage Monfils, and it shows very much in their head-to-head, which consists of three tough beatings. The Frenchman is unpredictable and everything can be expected from him. You don’t have to look far for examples, as just last week he lost the opening set to Roger Federer 0-6 in 20 minutes, only to later hold two match points and still lose. With the arsenal of weapons that Monfils has we can’t really expect him to struggle here. Keep in mind, though, that Ramos-Vinolas has a lot of clay court matches under his belt already and he will be there to take advantage if the Frenchman isn’t holding up mentally.
Prediction: Monfils in 2
Pablo Carreno Busta vs Denis Shapovalov
Head to head: Carreno Busta 1-0
An interesting clash between two players who are facing a slump right now. Carreno Busta is still yet to win a match after his great run to the Australian Open fourth round. The Spaniard got injured in February in Cordoba and had a long break up until Barcelona. Since then, he has lost to Benoit Paire, Jeremy Chardy ,and Reilly Opelka.
Although it’s quite clear that Shapovalov’s game is not really suited for clay, he did reach a Masters 1000 semifinal last year Madrid. It’s been no bed of roses in 2019 though. After a brilliant March where he was one of the best players at the Sunshine Double, the Canadian is yet to win a match on clay in three attempts (lost to Struff, Garin, and Auger-Alliasime). To play well on the dirt Shapovalov would have to be patient in waiting for a chance to deal a huge attacking blow, and his recent matches have very much proven that the 20-year-old is still not ready for it mentally. He was completely out of range in Madrid against his younger compatriot and we expect him to struggle even harder against Carreno Busta, who seems to have put his injury concerns behind and will make it to a lot of balls.
Prediction: Carreno Busta in 3
Marco Cecchinato vs Alex De Minaur
Head to head: De Minaur 1-0
In an era of homogenization of the playing surfaces, Marco Cecchinato is one of those rare players who are excellent at one turf and way, way worse on the other ones. Fortunately for him, we’re now in his favorite part of the year. It’s highly unlikely that he will defend his French Open semifinal points, but at least he can make the most out of his seedings while he still is in the top 20 of the world.
The Italian benefits from a great occasion to advance here, having drawn Alex De Minaur who seems to have a lot of trouble adjusting his game to clay court conditions. The Australian has lost both his matches on the dirt this year (to Joao Domingues and Hubert Hurkacz), and we don’t expect him to turn the tables here as Cecchinato’s amazing skill and point construction abilities should allow him to score yet another clay court victory.
Prediction: Cecchinato in 2
Fabio Fognini vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Head to head: Tsonga 4-1
For a brief moment, it looked like Jo-Wilfried Tsonga might be a huge threat for even the biggest titles this clay court season. The Frenchman caught fire in Marrakech and only lost to a surprisingly motivated Benoit Paire. Since then, Tsonga had to retire in Monte Carlo in the second set against Taylor Fritz and played a Challenger in Bordeaux, losing in a very unspectacular fashion to Filip Horansky in the quarterfinals. We’re surprised to say this, but right now Fognini looks like a less of a question mark. The Italian won the biggest title of his career three weeks ago in Monte Carlo (defeating Rafael Nadal in the semifinals) and played brilliantly in Madrid losing to the eventual semi-finalist Dominic Thiem. We expect Fognini to continue playing well, especially aided by the help of the home crowd.
Prediction: Fognini in 2
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