This will be a first between these two players.
Feliciano Lopez plays his 19th Australian Open. He is finally back in the second round after 4 years in a row where he couldn’t get past the first match. He managed to win 8 times in the 2nd round, and his best performance is a 1/8 final (2012 and 2015).
Lorenzo Sonego, for his part, is participating in his third Australian Open after 2018 (2nd round) and 2020 (1st round). A victory against the Spanish would allow him to reach the third round for the first time in his career. In fact, he has only once managed to win the second round of a Grand Slam tournament. That was last year at Roland Garros (on his favourite surface).
In this edition
In the first round, Feliciano Lopez won in 4 sets against the local Li Tu. Note that there were 2 tie-breaks in this match.
For his part, Lorenzo Sonego defeated the invisible Sam Querrey. But, even if the latter did not play incredibly well, we must also highlight the very good match of the Italian.
Rather nice match, don’t you think?
Before writing about this match, I took the liberty of looking at the proposed odds (which I don’t always do, I confess). Well, I was surprised to see that Lorenzo Sonego was by far the favorite to win. Feliciano Lopez’s odds are almost flirting with the 4 at the time of writing.
I’m going to be direct, I’m going to follow the trend and predict a victory for Lorenzo Sonego. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see a very tight match, or even a victory for Feliciano Lopez.
First of all, it is necessary to highlight the very good match of these two players in the 1st round. They both did well on their service games, conceding few break balls, and were able to make the difference in the rallies. I must even add that I found Feliciano Lopez in the game. Both in terms of motivation (which sometimes leaves something to be desired) and in terms of physical fitness.
I still have a slight preference for Lorenzo Sonego because Feliciano Lopez’s first match of the season wasn’t very sexy (defeat against Anderson in Melbourne), and he played his first round of this Australian Open against an unranked opponent. In this last match, the Spanish was clearly superior. This notably allowed him to get some very nice winning shots.
One thing is certain: Feliciano Lopez did not come to Australia to stroke koalas. As long as his physique holds, his service is hard to take. In the rallies, he makes sure to shorten them (which could be a plus in front of Sonego who likes the rhythm) and does not hesitate to take initiatives first. When he suffers (even more so on this surface), Sonego tends to back off a lot. This could open a lot of possibilities for the Spanish grandpa. That’s why I can imagine a close match here. At least at the beginning.
Now we must also highlight Lorenzo Sonego and his very good first match. The small form of his opponent Sam Querrey was accentuated by the regularity of the Italian and his ability to release punishing forehands. Sonego knows how to hit hard and that could hinder Feliciano Lopez. There is no doubt about it.
It is also worth noting that Lorenzo Sonego showed that he could make efficient passing passes in his first match. I have no doubt that he will be able to make the same shots against Feliciano Lopez’s numerous climbs.
Finally, if you are receptive to this kind of information, know that since 2019 Lorenzo Sonego has faced left-handed players 11 times and won 8 times. Also, he has lost 2 of these 3 matches in 2020, including the only one on hard court and in Grand Slam (at the US Open against Adrian Mannarino).
I can’t wait to see what Feliciano Lopez will be able to offer to counter the rage to defeat of his opponent of the day. Let’s eat.
Prediction: Lorenzo Sonego wins