US Open Predictions: Fabio Fognini to Compete With Rafael Nadal (September 1)
Jean Catuffe, Icon Sportswire/Getty. Pictured: Rafael Nadal and Fabio Fognini.
As day two of the second round rolls around, we have lots of top seeds in action with just as many others looking to add another upset to the draw.
Some big spreads are on the slate, so let’s dive in to where we can take advantage of some mis-pricings.
Let’s jump into some match previews, including Rafael Nadal vs. Fabio Fognini.
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing US Open matches.
Rafael Nadal (-2100) vs. Fabio Fognini (+980)
8:15 p.m. ET
Nadal got his campaign towards a 23rd slam title underway, though he looked a little rusty in his opening set. After dropping the first set to Rinky Hijikata, Nadal settled in and returned to the punishing form we saw from him earlier this year.
Fognini rallied from being down two sets to come out with a victory over Aslan Karatsev in the first round. Though Fognini is prone to losing focus – evidenced by his 15 double faults and a poor showing in the opening set – he found motivation later and broke Karatsev’s serve an impressive seven times.
This will be the 18th meeting between the two. Nadal owns a 13-4 head to head record, but their matchups haven’t been as one sided as the record may indicate. Most famously, Fognini rallied from two sets down to beat Nadal seven years ago at the 2015 US Open, though their most recent matchup saw the Spaniard triumph in a straight sets victory at the 2021 Australian Open.
Fognini will be motivated against Nadal on the big stage. He has the groundstrokes to hang with the four-time US Open champ, and there are sure to be tons of highlight reel points.
Nadal can be susceptible to slow starts or dips in level. I’ll trust the Italian to be motivated to put on a show and hang with Nadal more than what the books are expecting.
Pick: Fognini +9.5 Games (-140 via FanDuel)
Cameron Norrie (-2500) vs. Joao Sousa (+1100)
1 p.m. ET
Cameron Norrie was faced with a unique match round one against Benoit Paire. While his opponent will likely be fined for his poor sportsmanship – including packing his bag before the match was over – Norrie was still impressive and inflicted two bagels on the Frenchman.
However, on the way to the straight sets victory, Norrie faced some adversity in the second set against a locked-in Paire, forcing the Brit to break to stay in the set which led to a tiebreaker win.
Joao Sousa looked out of place in the first set against Mackenzie McDonald before pressing the reset button and claiming the next three. In a match that contained plenty of baseline rallies, Sousa was simply more consistent. He handled the ball-striking of McDonald well and was able to break down and frustrate the American.
The Portuguese has been on a horrendous streak with just one win since the French Open; however, he is more than capable of producing outstanding tennis. With an ATP title this year and a runner up finish, Sousa can be a threat to anyone. He has handled lefty opponents well and owns a fourth round appearance at the US Open.
Given the level of play of play Sousa produced yesterday and the potential he has, I think an 8.5-game line is too much. I’ll trust Sousa to put up a fight against the consistent Brit and cover the big line.
Pick: Sousa +8.5 Games (-125 via FanDuel)