Fabio Fognini failed to take a set off Alexander Zverev in their first two FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings. But the Italian broke through in style against the 21-year-old on Thursday at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.
In front of an energised crowd on Court Rainier III, Fognini secured 75 per cent of first-serve points (30/40) to defeat Zverev 7-6(6), 6-1 in 90 minutes. Fognini has now reached five ATP Masters 1000 quarter-finals, which include his run to the semi-finals at the Monte-Carlo Country Club in 2013 (l. to Djokovic).
“I’m really happy. Happy because I was always losing with him, but it was [also] a really tough match,” Fognini said. “He’s No. 3 in the world, even if he’s playing his best tennis. I’m really happy.”
Fognini entered the tournament with seven losses in his past eight tour-level matches and trailed Andrey Rublev 4-6, 1-4 in his first-round match. But after his first win over a Top 3 opponent since his victory over then-World No. 1 Andy Murray at the 2017 Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Fognini is one win away from a return to the last four in the Principality.
“Coric is a really good fighter. He fights a lot. He won so many matches last year,” Fognini said. “I have to be happy for sure and enjoy my match from tonight, recover well, that’s the most important thing and try my best.”
The Croatian advanced to his second straight Masters 1000 quarter-final after one hour and 41 minutes, saving all three break points he faced to beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France 6-4, 6-2. Coric also reached the last eight at the Miami Open presented by Itau last month, beating Nick Kyrgios in three sets before a straight-sets loss to #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.
“I was making the right decisions at the right time,” Coric said. “I was also serving great, so that gave me some confidence when he served that I could be more relaxed.”
Did You Know?
With qualifier Lorenzo Sonego also advancing to the last eight, two Italians are into the Monte-Carlo quarter-finals for the first time since 1978, when Corrado Barazzutti and Adriano Panatta accomplished the feat.