French Open Day 1 Predictions Including Fabio Fognini vs Gregoire Barrere

Fabio Fognini Madrid 2021
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Veterans Fabio Fognini and Roberto Bautista Agut are comfortable and accomplished on clay, can they get off to a winning start in Paris? We have all your day 1 French Open predictions for all the matches, spread across four other articles. One features Pablo Andujar vs Dominic Thiem, another highlights Grigor Dimitrov vs Marcos Giron, the third headlines Kei Nishikori vs Alessandro Giannessi, and the fourth features Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Jeremy Chardy.

Fabio Fognini vs Gregoire Barrere

Damian Kust: Is there an opportunity for an upset here? Sure, but lots will depend on Fabio Fognini’s mindset. Anyhow, Gregoire Barrere is not that convincing on the dirt and even with the crowd support, he would probably need to rely on the Italian not being up to play. Fognini in 4

Steen Kirby: Barrere is just 1-4 at tour level this season, he qualified in Lyon on clay but he’s entirely unexceptional on the surface in his career. Fognini’s best result leading into this tournament was the quarterfinals in Monte Carlo, he’s likely not in the position to make a deep and meaningful run this time, but winning this first round encounter shouldn’t be too much of an ask for the former French open quarterfinalist. Fognini in 3

Jim Smith: Fabio Fognini has not hit the heights this season, but although the Italian’s attitude sometimes leaves much to be desired, the fundamentals of his clay-court game are very solid. Provided he can maintain his focus – which is sometimes easier said than done – he should have too much for Gregoire Barrere, who has never really convinced at the highest level. Fognini in 3

Mario Vilella Martinez vs Roberto Bautista Agut

Damian: The grinding style of Mario Vilella Martinez could cause problems for Roberto Bautista Agut, especially if his flatter backhand lacks depth. This doesn’t have to be comfortable but the more experienced of the Spaniards is probably too solid to lose this. Bautista Agut in 3

Steen: Bautista Agut has cooled off on clay after a great start to his season on hard courts. Still, he’s won at least one match in all of his clay court tournaments this Spring and has compiled a solid season overall. Vilella Martinez is yet to crack the top 150 in his career, he is great on clay and is making his debut at the French Open after going through the qualifying rounds. This should be a learning experience for Martinez, as Bautista Agut should shine with his experience. Bautista Agut in 3

Jim: Roberto Bautista Agut may be at his best on faster surfaces, but his solid groundstrokes and impressive athleticism ensure that he can hold his own on the clay. He will need to be sharp from the off here against his countryman Mario Vilella Martinez, who played well to come through the qualifying, but there is a gulf in class here and that should be reflected in the scoreline. Bautista Agut in 3

Juan Ignacio Londero vs Cristian Garin

Damian: Juan Ignacio Londero has been in a massive slump of late and it’s not looking like it’s about to finish anytime soon. This section of the draw is rather weak and a natural clay-courter like Cristian Garin really should be cleaning this up. Garin in 3

Steen: Most of the meetings have been on clay and Garin leads the h2h 5-3, Londero is 0-9 at tour level in 2021, he qualified in Monte Carlo, but it’s been a struggle this year as a whole. Garin won Santiago at home, and reached quarters in both Estoril and and Madrid. He could do some damage in this draw and make this the best year he’s ever had at the French Open. Garin in 3

Jim: Juan Ignacio Londero has had some memorable days in recent years, not least at Roland Garros. But the Argentine has been struggling badly over the last few months. Cristian Garin may not have been at his very best so far in 2021, but he won’t need to be to get the better of Londero. Garin in 3

Botic van de Zandschulp vs Hubert Hurkacz

Damian: Hubert Hurkacz has been rather awful on clay recently and it looks like he might be suffering from a bit of a hangover following the win in Miami. Botic van de Zandschulp is probably among the lesser dangerous qualifiers but his punching game will test if Hurkacz is in the right mindset. Hurkacz in 4

Steen: van de Zandschulp is showing signs of improvement, as a qualifier, he makes his French Open main draw debut against the capable Hurkacz. Hurkacz is struggling on clay after winning Miami, and this surface does not suit him. This match could be long and messy, but Hurkacz probably has enough raw talent to will himself to a win. Hurkacz in 5

Jim: It has been a clay-court campaign to forget so far for Miami Open champion Hubert Hurkacz. Still, this is a relatively kind draw for him. Botic van de Zandschulp picked up some good wins to come through the qualifying, but if he has recovered from the injury that forced him to retire in Rome, Hurkacz’s power should see him past the Dutchman and into the second round. Hurkacz in 4

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