Previews and Picks. Miami.
F. Fognini – D. Ferrer
1) Fognini’s performances in Acapulco & Indian Wells showed that he is in good shape and ready to bring some troubles even to world number one Novak Djokovic on his favorite hard courts. Miami’s second round match against tricky Frenchman Michael Llodra became just another demonstration of “Fogna» great physical state: Fabio swept his opponent in 47 minutes converted 5 of 7 break points on Llodra’s serve.
David Ferrer will play his first match after the defeat in the opening battle in Indian Wells. By the way it was the first opening match loss since October 2012 when the Spaniard pulled out from China Open during his first round clash against Yen-Hsun Lu. IMHO, last week failure wasn’t accidental, David has already played 25 games from the start of the season and slump in his form was inevitable. Did Ferrer prepare well or not for this tournament – it’s anybody's guess.
2) This match will be sixth head-to-head battle between these two guys and Ferrer keeps confident lead won all five previous meetings. At the same time Ferrer demolished his today’s opponent only once – in Buenos Aires this year when Fabio just came to America from Europe and hardly got ready to do his best. Their only hard court clash in Paris 2010 on the contrary was a real thriller ended up with a decisive tiebreaker.
3) The only chance for Fognini in this game is to be reactive. The Italian is a moody player but if he catches the fire, his sloppy first serves and heavy forehands might pose problems even to ultra-consistent baseliners like Ferrer. I suppose that in today’s form Fabio is able to maintain the depth of Ferrer’s drives, dictate the rallies on his own serve and gain winners with his flat blasts from both forehand and backhand.
4) Fognini has obvious problems with mental stability and he can easily drop a set 1-6 or 2-6, so it’s a bit risky to bet on Fabio with handicap. I advise you to stake on TO 19.5, this choice seems to be much more rational.
The pick: Total Over 19.5 games LOSS (19 games)