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Shelton and Fognini go head-to-head in what promises to be a very interesting opening round match at the Indian Wells Masters 1000. What are the best predictions for this matchup between a young rising star and one of the most experienced players on the Tour?
These odds from Ladbrokes were correct at the time of writing.
Ben Shelton vs Fabio Fognini Match Predictions
It’s an intriguing matchup between youth and experience. Young Ben Shelton impressed at the Australian Open, making it to the quarterfinals in only his sixth tournament at the Tour level. He, however, is coming off two back-to-back first round exits in Delray Beach and Acapulco. Fognini has hinted at a potential retirement, but the former Monte Carlo Masters champion still has some fuel left in the tank. The Italian has four first round exits in five appearances this year, but his electric style always has the potential to mix things up.
Set 1 Tie Break: Yes
Shelton’s booming serve is his biggest weapon, but it also leads to the occasional double fault. The young American sometimes finds himself having to save a break point on the back of unforced errors. Fognini usually takes these chances, but the Italian is also known for giving up plenty of breaks every match. In this back-and-forth, the first set could very well go the full distance.
Fognini played three tie breaks in six matches this year, twice in the first set. Shelton, on the other hand, played nine tie breaks over nine matches – including four in the first set.
Over 21.5 Games
Given both player’s recent results, this match could go either way. Shelton has the edge, but the 20-year old is still finding his footing on the ATP Tour, and his form has oscillated since Melbourne. Fognini is always going to deliver an entertaining match, but the 35-year old has become even more inconsistent as his career enters its final stages.
This match has a high chance of hitting the over. Even if the match ends in straight sets, it could very well feature two tie breaks or two long 12 game-sets.
Ben Shelton vs Fabio Fognini Preview
Let’s take a look at the players’ form heading into the first round match.
Effectively entering his first year at the Tour level, Shelton impressed at the Australian Open. The 20-year old from Atlanta reached the quarterfinals in his second ever Grand Slam, moving into the top 50.
Since then, Shelton has only entered two tournaments, dropping round in the first round at the Delray Beach ATP 250 and the Acapulco ATP 500,
It’s still a learning year for the former Florida Gator, so these ups and downs are perfectly normal. Playing on home soil again, Shelton will be looking to rebound in California.
The controversial Italian is in the twilight of a successful career. A former Australian Open doubles champion and also a Monte Carlo Masters champion in singles, Fognini is always one to watch. Of course, inconsistency has also been his trademark.
The 35-year old had a rough start to 2023, winning only one of his five matches. Fognini has not made it past the second round since his semifinal appearance at the Serbia Open, in April 2022. His match against Shelton promises to be one full of fireworks, with plenty of chances going both ways.
Ben Shelton vs Fabio Fognini Head to Head
This will be their first head to head match on the ATP Tour.
Ben Shelton vs Fabio Fognini Match Details
- When does the match start? The match will be played on Thursday, March 9th, and is scheduled to start at 6:00 pm GMT.
- On which court will the match be played? The match will be played on Stadium 1.
- Who is the bookies’ favorite for this match? Ben Shelton is the early favorite to win.
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