Rune Expecting ‘Wild’ Clash With Fognini At The Italian Open, Ruud Wins
Holger Rune thinks his last 16 clash with Fabio Fognini at the Italian Open will be “wild” after taking down Arthur Fils to set up a tantalising match-up. Rune will have to silence a home crowd that has shown loud and boisterous support to the 35-year-old Italian favourite during his wins over Andy Murray and Miomir Kecmanovic in Rome. Fourth seed Casper Ruud also booked a place in the last 16.
Holger Rune expects his Italian Open last-16 clash with home favourite Fabio Fognini to be “wild” after beating Arthur Fils, while Casper Ruud also progressed in Rome.
The world No. 7 earned a 6-3 6-3 victory over 18-year-old Fils to make it through as he looks to bounce back from a disappointing third-round exit at the Madrid Open.
Rune’s clay-court season campaign got off to a flying start when he reached the Monte Carlo final in April, losing to Andrey Rublev, but he will have to silence a vocal home support in his next match.
Fognini was handed a wildcard in Rome and has enjoyed a superb week so far, upsetting top-50 players Andy Murray and Miomir Kecmanovic in front of boisterous crowds to earn a clash with a player 15 years his junior.
“It’s going to be wild, for sure,” Rune said.
“But this is great because this is what tennis is about. You already hear the football match [atmosphere] now and this is great, it’s fun. It brings tennis to another level and I’m super excited for it.”
Fourth seed Ruud also made it safely through to the last 16 with a 6-4 6-0 win over Arthur Rinderknech.
The 24-year-old has had a difficult season so far and headed to Rome on the back of defeat in his opener in Madrid to Matteo Arnaldi and last-16 exits in Barcelona and Monte Carlo.
Ruud has failed to make it to the quarter-finals at any ATP 1000 events this season and went out in the second round at the Australian Open in January.
Hoping to find some form ahead of Roland Garros at the end of the month, the Norwegian faces Alexander Bublik next, who took down 28th seed Ben Shelton in three sets.
Ruud has a good track record in Rome, having twice reached the semi-finals, and his victory over Rinderknech was his 10th in the Italian capital, his best record at any ATP Masters 1000 event.