MADRID, SPAIN – Kyle Edmund will start his Madrid campaign against Fabio Fognini whose injuries have kept him off the court since his maiden Masters title in Monte Carlo.
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Kyle Edmund v Fabio Fognini  | H2H: Fognini leads 1-0
For a guy who usually loves this surface, it has no doubt been a frustrating time for Kyle Edmund. The British No. 1 has struggled in his clay court season thus far with just one win in Marrakech, where he was defending final points. Since then he has been bounced out of Monte Carlo and Munich in the opening rounds, and drawing a first-time Masters champion in Fabio Fognini ordinarily would not be ideal.
Fognini, at varying times during that run, had all manner of strapping and tape holding him together, and following his victory in Monaco, he had to pull out of Barcelona and Estoril with hamstring and leg injuries respectively.
Edmund might have to hope that there is still some lingering aches as pains, while he tries to find some kind of form. This surface normally plays right into his hands. The ball sits up for him to really unleash his forehand, and there are often free serves a-plenty even on a grippy surface like clay.
However, Fognini makes things look effortlessly languid when he is on form, and belongs on the clay. With two weeks off, and two Masters coming up ahead of Roland Garros, it will be interesting to see if Fognini can back up his Monte Carlo triumph.
If the Italian is on form, then Edmund can expect to be made to run as Fognini’s easy counterpunching style is often peppered with clean and penetrating ground-strokes. He is adept at the net as he is pinging balls back and forth from the base-line.
The best that Edmund can hope for is that Fognini hits a streaky patch, or that his injuries are still an issue.
Prediction: Fognini in three sets.
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