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Fognini vs Coric ATP Monte Carlo Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Fognini and Coric battle for semi-final spot

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 19 Apr 2019
  • Fabio Fognini vs Borna Coric is live from Monte Carlo on Friday, 19 April from 3:30pm local time/ 2:30pm BST
  • Fognini defeated Coric in their only previous meeting in Umag back in 2014
Fabio Fognini

Fabio Fognini attempts to reach the Monte Carlo semi-finals for the second time in his career when he takes on Borna Coric at the Masters 1000 event on Friday.

Fognini is targeting a return to the last four in the Principality for the first time since 2013, while Coric is contesting the Monte Carlo quarter finals for the first time.

The enigmatic Fognini had arrived Monte Carlo on a terrible run of results, having lost seven of his previous eight matches, but in his mercurial style, the Italian has suddenly put together a run this week. He has received some help along the way, with Gilles Simon withdrawing from their scheduled second round meeting, but he made the most of that opening, taking down Alexander Zverev in the third round to progress to his fifth Masters 1000 quarter final.

The Italian had actually flirted with another opening round elimination in his first match against Andrey Rublev, but from 4-6 1-4 down, he launched a fine recovery to win 4-6 7-5 6-4, before walking over Simon, and then taking out Zverev.

Fognini had lost his previous two matches against Zverev without taking a set, but he produced fine performance, especially in the second set to take down the world No. 3 7-6 6-1. The first set could have swung either way, with Fognini leading by a break, and then Zverev hitting back to restore parity, but it was Fognini who held it together at the business end of the tie break to take the lead. He turned it on in the second set, unfurling a plethora of magnificent winners to close out a fine win after 90 minutes.

“I'm really happy. Happy because I was always losing with him, but it was [also] a really tough match," Fognini said. "He's No. 3 in the world, even if he's playing his best tennis. I'm really happy."

Fognini is into his first quarter final since the opening week of the season, when he reached the last eight in Auckland. He made the third round of the Australian Open, but then slipped into a very poor patch, losing opening round matches in five of his next six tournaments- Cordoba, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Indian Wells and Marrakech. His only victory during that run was against Guido Andreozzi in Miami, but that was swiftly followed by a second round defeat to Roberto Bautista-Agut. 

He has snapped out of that streak in Monte Carlo- can he now keep it going by taking down Coric on Friday?

Coric entered the 2019 Monte Carlo Masters with a 1-4 record at the tournament- he failed to cross the first round in his first three visits between 2015 and 2017, but finally got his first win in 2018, when he defeated Julien Benneteau in the opening round. (He was beaten by Novak Djokovic in the next round).

He has however strung together his best run this year, beating Hubert Hurkacz, Jaume Munar and Pierre-Hugues Herbert to make the last eight. It hasn't been easy, as he needed three sets to get past Hurkacz and Munar- the latter after almost three and a half hours of clay-court grind. He also saved match point in the second set against Munar before digging out a 6-7 7-6 6-4 victory. After a couple of lengthy battles, Coric enjoyed the welcome sight of a straight sets victory in the third round against Herbert, winning 6-4 6-2 to reach his third quarter final of the season.

“I was making the right decisions at the right time," Coric said. "I was also serving great, so that gave me some confidence when he served that I could be more relaxed."

The Croatian hasn't always reached the heights he got to last season, but his 2019 results have not exactly been poor. He made the fourth round run at the Australian Open, the semi-finals in Dubai, the quarter finals in Miami, and now, another quarter final in a second straight Masters 1000 tournament in Monte Carlo.

He’ll play Fognini for the second time on Friday, and for the first time in almost five years with their only previous encounter being in Umag in 2014, which Fognini won 5-7 7-6 6-3.

"Coric is a really good fighter. He fights a lot. He won so many matches last year," Fognini said. "I have to be happy for sure and enjoy my match from tonight, recover well, that's the most important thing and try my best."

Fognini is the more natural clay-courter, and the better shot-maker, and if he maintains the level he showed against Zverev, especially in the second set, he will probably have too much for Coric, but Coric is a real battler, and will keep chipping away, regardless of the direction in which the match is going. 

Will Fognini have the discipline to stay the course against an obdurate Coric?

Fabio Fognini vs Borna Coric is live from Monte Carlo on Friday, 19 April from 3:30pm local time/ 2:30pm BST

*Geo-restrictions apply. Streams available to customers with an active balance

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Fognini vs Coric ATP Monte Carlo Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Fognini and Coric battle for semi-final spot

Fabio Fognini and Borna Coric fo head-to-head in Monte Carlo on Friday with a quarter final spot on the line. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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