Murray expects tough fight against ‘dangerous shot-maker’ Fognini in Wimbledon third round

 

By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon

  • Andy Murray [1] def. Dustin Brown 6-3 6-2 6-2
  • Faces Fabio Fognini [28] | H2H: Tied at 3-3
LONDON, UK – Andy Murray overcame flying ants and Dustin Brown to set up a clash with Fabio Fognini in the Wimbledon third round.

 

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Andy Murray [1] def. Dustin Brown 6-3 6-2 6-2

After top seed Andy Murray had handled his opening match efficiently against the entertaining Alexander Bublik, we expected more of the same against the equally unpredictable Dustin Brown. What we got instead was another Murray masterclass. While Brown excels in leaping around for the show-man shots that have become his trademark, not to mention dealing with the Flying Ant infestation, Murray wasted no more time than necessary to book his spot in the third round.

As before, any concerns we might have had about his dicky hip were dispelled as he handled the variety of shots that Brown has at his disposal. Where Brown had been so effective against Rafael Nadal in his famous victory over the Spaniard in 2015, he met his match with Murray’s court coverage.

It was just one single break in the first set, but as Murray warmed to the task on a barmy day at Wimbledon, he stepped up the pressure, knocking Brown back still further with two successive breaks midway through the second set, before repeating the task in the third.

Murray said, after the match: “It was a good match from my end. I mean, I served well until really the last few games. I returned well. I didn’t make many mistakes. I hit a lot of good passing shots. So, I mean, I was really happy with it.”

Highlights – Murray v Brown (h/t @Wimbledon)

 

Murray v Fabio Fognini [28] | H2H; Tied at 3-3

The third round on gets decidedly trickier. As the defending Rome champion, he came up against an inspired Fabio Fognini playing in front of a passionate home crowd, and he came up short.

However, in this, their first meeting of grass, we can expect the balance of power to shift back to the Brit. Fognini may not be quite as much the entertainer as Bublik and Brown, but there is an area of unpredictability to his game that has troubled Murray in key moments in the past.

Fognini said, of the match up: “If I have to be honest, I think it’s completely different play here. I mean, I play home [in Rome], so I play really good match. I was 6-2, 5-1 up. Other hand I won 6-4. I played a really good match on the night.

“Here it’s completely different. Of course, it’s Wimbledon. It’s home for him. Is best-of-five. Something can change. Of course, he’s the defending champion. So it’s going to be really tough, for sure. He’s the favourite.

“But I think I have the game to play against him, hopefully to play my best tennis another time, try to complicate his life on court.”

Fognini has a languid style that can disguise the weight and pace of shot effectively and of course pitting counterpunchers together lends itself to a long a varied evening ahead. He plays with a tremendously fluid nonchalance that makes his play look effortless.

Yet he also can be exceptionally streaky, and he has never been past the third round here.

Murray said: “I think he’s always dangerous. Like I said, he’s a shot maker and, you know, he’s very solid off his forehand and backhand side, but he can also hit winners from both sides. I mean, a lot of guys maybe have a big forehand and are maybe more consistent on the opposite wing. Whereas Fabio, you know, can hit winners off both sides. He has good hands up at the net.

“I don’t think I have ever played against him on grass. He moves extremely well on the other surfaces. I don’t know how well he moves on the grass. I haven’t played him on it. But, yeah, I mean, he certainly can play well.

“So I expect it to be very tough. You know, when Fabio is switched on, he’s really, really tough to beat.”

Prediction: Murray in four sets.

 

Who is Murray playing? Fabio Fognini [28] (ITA)
Head to Head? Tied at 3-3
What time is Murray playing & where? Centre Court, not before 4:30pm BST
Where/How to watch X’s match? BBC & Eurosport | Tennis on UK TV

 

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