• Thursday, December 08, 2022

Wimbledon

‘Running on fumes’: Sandgren ready for exhausting Fognini battle

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 4, 2019 Italy’s Fabio Fognini celebrates winning his second round match against Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics (Photo: REUTERS/Tony O’Brien).

By: Radhakrishna N S

FABIO FOGNINI came through a five-set battle to reach the Wimbledon third round but next faces a man who also went through the wringer to make the last 32.

The Italian 12th seed takes on Tennys Sandgren of the US on Saturday (6), who similarly came through a gruelling five-set second round contest.

Clay court specialist Fognini is still floating near his highest-ever ranking, having won his first Masters-level title in April.

“Fognini’s a really good player, very talented. He’s had a phenomenal year winning Monte Carlo,” Sandgren said.

“I’ve played him twice. One time was 7-6 in the third. He’s going to be extremely tough. I’m going to have to play really well if I’m going to even have a shot at sneaking a win.”

Sandgren claimed the scalp of French 20th seed Gilles Simon in a 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 8-6 win on Thursday (4).

Meanwhile, Fognini beat Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 6-7 (7/6), 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 6-3.

“I guess that helps me a little bit. Maybe we’re both a little tired. It’s better than him winning in straight sets!” said world number 94 Sandgren.

“I’m definitely spent. I was really hurting by the end of the fourth and probably didn’t have any business winning the fifth but got a little lucky.

“Definitely running on fumes.”

Sandgren, a 2018 Australian Open quarter-finalist, made his debut in the Wimbledon main draw last year.

“I played Novak Djokovic, so I was done pretty fast!” the US player recalled.

“I don’t know what to expect coming here. I feel like my game’s not bad for grass. My serve’s good and I can attack.”

The winner of the match would face either Sam Querrey of the US or Australia’s John Millman both unseeded in the fourth round, with Rafael Nadal a potential quarter-final opponent.

(AFP)

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