Fabio Fognini vs. Pablo Carreno-Busta
|Date & Time||Friday January 18, 2019, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Fabio Fognini and Pablo Carreno-Busta meet in the third round of the 2019 tennis Australian Open.
Fabio Fognini is coming off a straight sets win over Leonardo Mayer that took 35 games to decide. In the victory, Fognini won 75 percent of his first serve points and 72 percent of his second serve points. Fognini has been extremely consistent with his serve in his first two matches and should be well rested when you consider he’s only had to play five sets to get to this point. Fognini has been hit or miss recently and doesn’t have much grand slam success throughout his career, but this tournament is shaping up rather nicely for the Italian to possibly change that. Fognini has a chance to make the fourth round of a grand slam for the third time since 2016. Fognini has won six of his last eight matches on hard court.
Pablo Carreno-Busta is coming off a straight sets win over Ilya Ivashka that took 30 games to decide. In the victory, Carreno-Busta won 80 percent of his first serve points and 53 percent of his second serve points. Carreno-Busta won 70 percent of his total service points and produced six breaks on 15 break points. Carreno-Busta had a much easier time in his last match than he did his opener, and he had just 19 unforced errors in over two hours of play. If Carreno-Busta is going to play that clean, the Spaniard has a real chance to turn some heads with a serious grand slam run. Carreno-Busta hopes to make the fourth round of a grand slam for the fourth time in his career. Carreno-Busta has split his last six matches on hard court.
These two have played five times and Carreno-Busta has won all five matches. The most recent match was in Monte Carlo in 2017. Three of the five matches between Carreno-Busta and Fognini went the distance.
Fognini is more than capable of winning this match, especially with him being extremely fresh due to not having to play a ton of tennis. The issue is that Carreno-Busta has won all five matches against him, and we all know how fragile the Italian can be when things don’t go his way. A slow start from Fognini and the h2h numbers play in his mind and the match can really get away from him. Let’s also not pretend that Carreno-Busta is playing really solid, clean tennis and that approach could lead to a lot of unforced errors from Fognini if he gets caught in long rallies.
This match should be competitive and entertaining, but Carreno-Busta is the safe, wise pick.