TennisSection previews the 2021 Indian Wells Open as Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on Fabio Fognini in the Round of 32 on Tuesday, October 12th, 2021.
Will Stefanos Tsitsipas move on? Will Fabio Fognini pull off the upset? This will be an interesting one, where we have one of the favorites for the title taking on a veteran who can certainly pose some challenges. Who will move onto the Round of 16 at the 2021 Indian Wells Open?
Stefanos Tsitsipas played a pretty solid match to set this next one up with Fabio Fognini. He served great and was able to use that versatile forehand of his to dictate play from the back of the court. However, his backhand still definitely showed many signs of weakness, resorting to his slice on many occasions. While his first opponent couldn’t take advantage of that, Fognini will. While Fognini has been inconsistent throughout a good part of his career, he played a solid match to get through here, and he has a shot to push Tsitsipas. Still, Tsitsipas has the edge in almost every aspect right now, aside from those backhand to backhand exchanges, I do for sure expect Tsitsipas to come out on top, but not without his struggles, let’s see if he can show a high level and that he is a favorite for the title here at the 2021 Indian Wells Open.
Fabio Fognini got through a tough one against Struff, needing 3 sets to set up this meeting with Tsitsipas. Fognini definitely has the game to push Tsitsipas, but actually doing it is a different story. He’s struggled against Tsitsipas historically, and a similar story will likely follow. Indian Wells is playing very slow, and Tsitsipas is great on a slow court, if the court was faster, I feel like Fognini could have a chance to win, but ultimately, Tsitsipas will grind him down in the rallies, using his forehand to dictate play and easily winning games on serve. While we could be in for a fun match and Fognini has the game to pull off an upset, it’s very rare that it comes out and we’ll likely see Tsitsipas take this one in a tight couple of sets as he tries to move on to the last 16 at the 2021 Indian Wells Open.
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Fabio Fognini have met twice before, with Stefanos Tsitsipas leading the head to head 2-0. Their two meetings came in 2018 and 2019, on an indoor hardcourt and on clay. Tsitsipas won easily both times, when he runs around to hit that big forehand of his, he’s usually hitting it big with lots of topspin, not really allowing Fognini to step in and take it early, which is how Fognini loves to play. If Fognini can take advantage of Tsitsipas’ short balls off his backhand wing, and really attack that part of his game with all his power, then I think that he can push him and have a shot at the win, but Tsitsipas not going to his forehand and winning lots of free points with his serve is unlikely, so I still expect Tsitsipas to get past a few struggles and ultimately pull out the win to move through to the next round at the 2021 Indian Wells Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Stefanos Tsitsipas to win in 2 sets.
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