No spam ever. Unsubscribe in one click. By submitting your email address, you indicate your consent to receiving email marketing messages from us.

Fognini vs Kuhn ATP Barcelona Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Can Fognini reproduce his Monte Carlo form in Barcelona?

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 23 Apr 2019
  • Fabio Fognini vs Nicola Kuhn is live from Barcelona on Wednesday, 23 April from 12:30pm local time/ 11:30am BST
  • Fognini won their only previous meeting in Miami last year
Fabio Fognini (PA Sport)

Can Fabio Fognini back up his sensational triumph in Monte Carlo with another strong week in Barcelona? The Italian starts off his campaign against Spanish wildcard, Nicola Kuhn in the second round on Wednesday.

The words "unpredictable", "mercurial" and "enigmatic" have been heavily associated with Fognini over the years, mostly in the negative sense, but he turned a corner spectacularly in Monte Carlo to claim his maiden Masters 1000 title.

It will be very interesting to see how Fognini reacts to that success- will it spark a run of form and consistency, or will the Italian slip back into his unpredictable mode? No one is quite sure what to expect from the Italian- we will all have to wait and see!

Prior to Monte Carlo, Fognini had limped to a forgettable 4-8 record this season, and had lost seven of his last eight matches leading up to the tournament. He had not beaten a top-50 player all season, and was 0-4 on clay. 

Another opening round exit seemed on the cards in Monte Carlo when he trailed Andrey Rublev 5-7 1-4 in his tournament opener, and faced break point to go 1-5 down in the second set, but he somehow wriggled out of that hole and escaped with three-set victory.  He got a bit of luck in the second round when Gilles Simon withdrew from their scheduled meeting, but he turned on the style after that.

Galvanized by the large Italian following at the Monte Carlo Country Club, Fognini took out Alexander Zverev and Borna Coric to reach his second Monte Carlo semi-final, where he recorded a seismic 6-4 6-2 victory over Rafael Nadal to reach his maiden Masters 1000 final. He finished off a stunning week with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Dusan Lajovic. Fognini showed again that he is one of the finest shot-makers in the sport, alternating between deceptively powerful groundstrokes and graceful touches in a truly magical week.

Victory in Monte Carlo took Fognini to a new career-high ranking of 12th, and with nothing to defend this week, he could make a push for the top-ten with a strong week in Barcelona.

Fognini is competing at the Barcelona Open for the first time since 2016, where he was beaten by Nadal in the quarter finals, and he faces another Spaniard on his return to the tournament as he takes on wildcard, Nicola Kuhn on Wednesday.

World No. 276, Kuhn came through a two-and-a-half-hour battle with Federico Delbonis in the first round, winning 7-6 4-6 6-2 to register just the second tour-level victory of his fledgling career, and his first of the season.

The 19-year-old Kuhn had spent most of his season on the Challenger Tour, reaching quarter finals in Launceston, Australia, and Chennai, while his only previous ATP Tour main draw appearance of the season was in Miami, where he retired in the third set against Mischa Zverev. He had attempted to qualify for the Australian Open earlier in the year, but fell to Tatsumo Ito in the second qualifying round.

Kuhn, a former Roland Garros Boys' finalist, has a career-high ranking of 196th- attained in April last season, but he ended the year at 245th in the world, three spots lower than his year-end mark from the 2017 season, when he claimed his maiden Challenger title in Braunschweig. 

His best efforts in 2018 were Challenger finals in Budapest and Canberra, while he also recorded his first ever tour-level victory, beating Barbadian, Darian King at the Miami Open to become the youngest Spaniard since Nadal to win an ATP main draw match. He was beaten by Fabio Fognini in the second round.

It's taken Kuhn over a year to double his tour-level win tally- can the teenager now claim back-to-back wins for the first time in his career when he faces Fognini in Barcelona on Wednesday?

A lot depends on Fognini, who won their only previous meeting in Miami last year- if he reproduces anything close to his Monte Carlo form, he will be far too good for the Spanish upstart, but there's always a chance of some Monte Carlo hangover, which would render the Italian susceptible to the upset.

Fabio Fognini vs Nicola Kuhn is live from Barcelona on Wednesday, 23 April from 12:30pm local time/ 11:30am BST

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

Share this with your friends

Your comments:

Fognini vs Kuhn ATP Barcelona Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Can Fognini reproduce his Monte Carlo form in Barcelona?

Monte Carlo champion, Fabio Fognini makes a swift return to action as he takes on Spanish teenager, Nicola Kuhn in the second round of the Barcelona Open on Wednesday. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

Read more »

You have unread messages

You have unread messages