TennisSection previews the 2021 Andalucia Open as Fabio Fognini (2) meets Jaume Munar in the Round of 16 on Thursday April 8th, 2021.
A very interesting matchup awaits us in the Round of 16 at the 2021 Andalucia Open in Marbella, Spain. Second seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy will face Spaniard Jaume Munar in what is sure to be a high-quality clay court match. Both men consider this to be their favorite surface and will be eager to get their clay court seasons off to a strong start. Will the overwhelming favorite Fognini advance here on his quest for the title? Or can the solid Munar cause the upset here on home soil?
Fabio Fognini is currently ranked #18 in the world and is one of the most accomplished clay court players on the ATP Tour. He is the holder of multiple ATP clay court titles, including one Masters-1000 title in Monte-Carlo. He had a shockingly poor 2020 season by his high standards, including losing four out of his five clay court matches. The Italian star will be very eager to start this 2021 clay court season on a better note, and has a very good chance here of winning the title here at the 2021 Andalucia Open if he can keep his focus throughout. Known to be one of the most talented players in the world, he is famous for having meltdowns during matches and is prone to losing matches that he has no business doing. He enters this match against Jaume Munar as the favorite but will be aware that his opponent is very dangerous on this surface and cannot be taken lightly.
Jaume Munar is perhaps the most difficult Round of 16 opponent that Fabio Fognini could have been drawn against, and is an extremely solid clay court player. Currently ranked #95 in the ATP world rankings, he has been as high as #52 before and enters the 2021 Andalucia Open in good form. He has won a Challenger title on clay so far this season, and reached the Final at the Marbella Challenger last week, so has a lot of momentum behind him. A very solid and consistent baseliner, he is exactly the type of player that can trouble his more fancied opponent if he is not at his best. Despite entering this match as the underdog, he was impressive in his opening round win over Henri Laaksonen 6-4, 6-1 and will be extremely confident at causing the upset here in Marbella.
This has the potential to be a very exciting match between two very talented players here at the 2021 Andalucia Open. The two players have faced each other twice before on the ATP Tour, with the head to head tied at 1-1. While Fognini gets all the headlines and rightly so, his opponent Jaume Munar is quietly putting together a very solid clay court season, and has a lot of match practice under his belt recently. This is the Italian’s first clay court match of the season and it is quite possible that he gets off to a slow start. The Spaniard is a good enough player to take advantage of any slip-ups from Fognini, and with his current form has a great shot here. I think it will be a close match but I am going to predict an upset here. Jaume Munar is capable of some fantastic clay court tennis and that coupled with Fognini’s poor 2021 form, lack of clay court match practice all signs are pointing towards a potential upset here. Three sets is very likely, but Jaume Munar should get the tight victory here.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Jaume Munar to win in three sets.