Holger Rune eases past Fabio Fognini in Rome

Holger Rune in action ahead of the ATP Rome Masters.

Seventh seed Holger Rune beat former-Italian #1 Fabio Fognini 6-4 6-2 in the third round of the Italian Open on Sunday. The match lasted for an hour and a half, with Rune triumphing easily enough in the end. The 20-year-old Dane will face Alexei Popyrin of Australia in the fourth round on Tuesday.

Fognini makes too many early errors

On his day, Fognini is undoubtedly one of the sweetest strikers of the ball in the men’s game, but he is not the player he once was and, against Rune, he was too casual in his shotmaking at times, particularly off the backhand side, drilling several two-handers wide into the tramlines to hand Rune an early advantage. The Dane broke Fognini twice in the first seven games to race out to a 5-2 lead.

Run then appeared to have faltered at the decisive moment, hitting a straightforward smash into the net cord and wide, giving Fognini a lifeline in the opener. It was not one the Italian was able to take advantage of, however, as Rune held serve in the 10th game to serve out the opener at the second time of asking.

Rune wins the second at a canter

Rune handled Fognini’s first serve with ease and took a 3-0 lead in no time in the second set. He broke Fognini again to win the second set convincingly. Both players kept testing each other with drop shots, but Rune’s superior movement helped him, whereas Fognini was left increasingly looking his age by the Dane. Rune also used the full-width of the court to good effect, moving Fognini from side-to-side to keep him off-balance. Fognini won only 50% of the points on his first serve in the match, while Rune managed a far more respectable 79%, which proved to make a great difference in the end.

Main photo credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports