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Tsitsipas vs Fognini ATP Stockholm SF Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: First meeting between Tsitsipas and Fognini with Stockholm final on the line

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 19 Oct 2018
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Fabio Fognini is live from Stockholm on Saturday, 20 October from 1:00pm local time/ 12:00pm BST
  • Tsitsipas and Fognini meet for the first time on Saturday
Stefanos Tsitsipas. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Stefanos Tsitsipas seeks his third final of the season when he takes on Italian, Fabio Fognini- who has already claimed three titles this year- in Stockholm on Saturday.

Tsitsipas is still yet to claim an ATP World Tour title, but that notwithstanding, the rising Greek has still put together a superb year, during which he has contested finals in Barcelona and Toronto, losing both to Rafael Nadal, and attained a career-high ranking of No. 15. He also reached the fourth round at Wimbledon, the farthest he has been at a major.

His runner-up finish in Toronto arguably remains his stand-out performance of the season, as it included consecutive top-ten wins over Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Novak Djokovic and Kevin Anderson before he eventually fell to Nadal in the final. He went off the boil for a few weeks after that, failing to cross the opening round in three of his next four tournaments, but he has been playing better in recent weeks, and will contest his first semi-final since Toronto in Stockholm on Saturday.

Tsitsipas is into his fifth semi-final of the season, following victories over John Millman and Philipp Kohlschreiber in the Swedish capital. He needed three sets to get by Millman the opening round, and he looked to be heading towards another three-set match when Kohlschreiber lead 5-2 in the second set of their quarter final. However, Tsitsipas saved two set points while serving at 2-5, before breaking the back in the next game. The set eventually went to a tie break, which Tsitsipas won to complete a 6-3 7-6 victory.

"I showed character and a bit more passion for every shot that I played,” said Tsitsipas. “When I was a break down I concentrated hard. I played rallies and waited for an opportunity and put pressure on him to finish the points. In general, I was calm and I served pretty well today – much better than my first-round match. I’d like to push more and get more points in the next few weeks".

Tsitsipas moves on to the last four, where he will play Fabio Fognini. 

Fognini is contesting his third straight ATP World Tour semi-final, having made the final in Chengdu, and the semis in Beijing in his most recent appearances on the tour. 

Fabio Fognini. (Photo by GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)
The Italian had to pull out of his Beijing semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro due to an ankle injury, which also forced him to sit out last week's Shanghai Masters, but he has picked up from where he left off on his return to the tour in Stockholm, beating Lukas Lacko 6-4 6-4 in the opening round before getting past Hyeon Chung in the quarter finals, when the Korean unfortunately had to retire with a foot problem. 

Fognini lead 7-5 2-1 before Chung pulled the plug on his campaign. Chung controlled large parts of the opening set, as the Korean forced the first break of the match for a 3-2 lead, only to surrender it a few games later. Chung also had 0-40 on Fognini's serve at 4-4, but the Italian fought off the danger to hold, before ending strongly, winning seven of the final eight points to take the first set. The second set was on serve when Chung decided he could not continue.

At 31, Fognini is compiling the best season of his career, having won titles in Sao Paulo, Bastad and Los Cabos, while he has now made a total of nine semi-finals in 2018. The world number 14 also reached the fourth round at the Australian Open and Roland Garros, the first time he would make the second week in at least two of the year's four majors.

Fognini, like Saturday's opponent, Tsitsipas, is still in with an outside chance of getting into the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals, but both players will need to do plenty of winning between now and the rest of the regular season to crash into the London party- a la Jack Sock! Unlikely, but why not! 

In my opinion, Fognini and Tsitsipas have been well short of their best levels this week, but they have managed to dig out the wins.

Tsitsipas' biggest strengths are his serve and forehand, but the serve has not particularly been firing this week. He served at 58% in his second round win over Kohlschreiber, and was below 50% in his opening round against Millman. He may not get away with those numbers against Fognini. The Italian second seed is an all-round very good player- solid off the ground, good mover and competent at the net, and I like his chances of progressing into another final on Saturday.

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Fabio Fognini is live from Stockholm on Saturday, 20 October from 1:00pm local time/ 12:00pm BST

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Tsitsipas vs Fognini ATP Stockholm SF Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: First meeting between Tsitsipas and Fognini with Stockholm final on the line

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Fabio Fognini meet for on Saturday with a spot in the Stockholm final on the line. Who will prevail in their first ever meeting? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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