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Fognini vs Tsonga ATP Rome live streaming, preview and tips - Fognini begins Rome Masters campaign against former World No. 5

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 13 May 2019
  • Fabio Fognini vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is live from Rome around 7.30pm local time on Monday (6.30pm BST)
  • Tsonga leads their head-to-head 4-1, but Fognini won their last clash in Indian Wells in 2017
Fabio Fognini (PA Images)

Monte-Carlo Masters champion Fabio Fognini launches his Rome Masters campaign on Monday night against former top 10 star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

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Two of the most entertaining players on tour collide in what should be a fun Rome Masters opening round duel on Monday night as World No. 12 Fabio Fognini and former No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga battle it out.

Fognini has knocked out top 10 players in each of his last two appearances at the Rome Masters, but he actually has a negative win-loss record at his home event of 10-11 throughout his career. Regardless, Fognini has provided some of the most memorable matches in the tournament’s history over the last couple of seasons, taking out then World No. 1 Andy Murray in straight sets in 2017 before making the quarter-finals for the first time last year, taking out French Open runner-up Dominic Thiem in three sets in the R32 before falling to Rafael Nadal in three.

The Italian returns to Rome 12 months later as a Masters 1000 champion after winning the Monte-Carlo title in stunning fashion last month. Fognini was 4-8 for the season and 0-4 on clay before arriving in Monte-Carlo, but the enigmatic Italian put it all together for a phenomenal seven days in the Principality, recovering from 4-6 1-4 down in his opening round against Andrey Rublev and coming back from 1-6 0-2 down against Borna Coric to win both of those matches, before taking out Alexander Zverev and producing arguably the finest performance of his career to conquer Nadal, winning 11 of the last 14 games as he prevailed 6-4 6-2 and ended the Spaniard’s 18-match winning streak in Monte-Carlo. Fognini would defeat fellow surprise finalist Dusan Lajovic in straight sets in the final to rise to a career-high No. 12 in the world, but he would subsequently withdraw from Barcelona and Estoril as he recovered from his triumph, returning last week in Madrid as he made the R16, beating Kyle Edmund and John Millman before losing to Thiem 4-6 5-7.

It’s tough to predict how Fognini performs from here - on one hand, he is close to becoming the first Italian man to crack the top 10 since Corrado Barrazzutti in 1978, so that’s something that is surely driving him, but on the other, it wouldn’t be surprising at all if Fognini entered a bit of a slump and rested on the laurels from his Monte-Carlo triumph for a couple of months. It’s anyone’s guess, but at the end of the day, Fognini is playing at home in Rome - and that has got to galvanise him in some fashion. Can he make it a winning start under the lights on Monday night?


Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is the man trying to stop him in the opening round. A former World No. 5 and Australian Open runner-up, Tsonga enjoyed the bulk of his career success between 2008 and 2014, reaching multiple Grand Slam semi-finals and quarter-finals and winning two ATP Masters 1000 crowns in Paris (2008) and Canada (2014), beating Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov and Roger Federer on the bounce to win the latter. Tsonga would go on to make the French Open semi-finals in 2015, reach four more major quarter-finals over the next two years and win four ATP titles in Rotterdam, Marseille, Lyon and Antwerp in 2017, but he was restricted to just 12 matches in 2018 after undergoing knee surgery, which resulted in his ranking plummeting to outside the world’s top 250.

Tsonga returned to action towards the end of 2018, but won just one match in five tournaments, but he’s propelled himself back into the top 100 at a current mark of No. 92 after some impressive results at stages throughout the season, winning his 17th career title in Montpellier, reaching the semi-finals in Marrakech and Brisbane and quarter-finals in Rotterdam for a tour-level record of 14-6. The 34-year-old hasn’t had much success on European clay though, retiring in the first round of Monte-Carlo and losing in the quarter-finals of the Bordeaux Challenger to World No. 186 Filip Horansky. Tsonga has an even 8-8 record in Rome, with his best result being two quarter-final runs in 2010 and 2012, while he last played the tournament back in 2015, losing in the second round to David Goffin.

Tsonga has won four of his five matches against Fognini, including two on clay at the 2012 French Open and 2014 Monte-Carlo Masters, but the Italian did win their last encounter at Indian Wells in 2017. Obviously Tsonga at his best is a tough match-up for Fognini, but unfortunately the Frenchman is far from that level and isn’t bringing great form into this tournament. With the home support and confidence from winning Monte-Carlo, Fognini should be able to find a way to win this and advance into the second round.


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Fognini vs Tsonga ATP Rome live streaming, preview and tips - Fognini begins Rome Masters campaign against former World No. 5

Monte-Carlo Masters champion Fabio Fognini launches his Rome Masters campaign on Monday night against former top 10 star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

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