This will be the first time these two players will play against each other.
This is Gilles Simon’s first participation in the main draw of the Sardinia Open.
As for Lorenzo Sonego, he already participated last October. He was eliminated in the 2nd round by Jiri Vesely (in 3 sets).
In this edition
In the first match, Gilles Simon won nicely against Stefano Travaglia. The Frenchman seemed to find pleasure again and that’s a pleasure.
For his part, Lorenzo Sonego took advantage of his ranking to skip the 1st round.
After a break that he took due to a lack of motivation, Gilles Simon resumed his competition on Tuesday with a victory (and thus in the most beautiful way). I found the Frenchman quite tense in the first set, and he managed to relax gradually (but also to find a smile). This had a direct impact on his consistency in the rallies. We (almost) found the Gilles Simon we know.
It is obvious that the Frenchman has a card to play in this match if he can propose a level of play at least equal to that of his end of match against Travaglia. However, he will still face a good player much more regular than his previous opponent.
Like Travaglia, Lorenzo Sonego is a good server and this could allow him to stay safe often despite the Frenchman’s good rallies. Conversely, Gilles Simon does not win many free points on his engagements. This should allow Sonego to initiate more rallies on his opponent’s serve.
Lorenzo Sonego is capable of holding long rallies while staying on his baseline. But above all, he is a good attacker who knows how to use his power to outplay his opponents. One could almost say that he has the same profile as Gilles Simon’s previous opponent. However, Lorenzo Sonego seems to me to be much more consistent in the rallies, and that could make the difference (Travaglia has indeed made too many faults when he took the initiative).
On the other hand, I can see the Italian using his ability at the net to finish points when Gilles Simon is too far back.
So a win for Lorenzo Sonego seems interesting here. But let’s not forget that Gilles Simon seems to play without pressure and this allows him to release shots that we haven’t seen from him for a long time.
Prediction: Lorenzo Sonego wins