Britain’s Sir Andy Murray insists his Wimbledon third-round opponent Fabio Fognini can be just as dangerous on grass as he has proven to be on his favoured clay courts.
World No29 Fognini has enjoyed a good record against Murray, winning three of their six encounters, including at the Rome Masters earlier this year and a pivotal Davis Cup rubber in 2014.
All three of his wins against Murray have come on clay, as have his four titles on the ATP Tour, but the top men’s seed remains wary of the Italian’s talent for shot-making on any surface.
“I think he’s always dangerous,” said Murray, who faces Fognini on Friday on Centre Court.
“A lot of guys maybe have a big forehand and are more consistent on the opposite wing, whereas Fabio can hit winners off both sides. He has good hands up at the net.
“I expect it to be very tough. When Fabio is switched on, he’s really, really tough to beat.”
Murray navigated past mavericks Sasha Bublik and Dustin Brown with minimal fuss in the first two rounds and, though Fognini marks a step up in pedigree, he acknowledges that preparing should be easier.
“Fognini is an incredible shot maker, but he’s a slightly different sort of player to Dustin and Bublik. He plays a more orthodox style of tennis,” the Scot added.
“The first two matches have been difficult to come up with game-plans, because you don’t know exactly how the two guys are going to play.
“I think against Fabio, although he’s been a better player, it’s maybe easier to come up with a game-plan because there will be a bit more structure and strategy in the match rather than just reacting and more instinctive points. So hopefully it will be easier to prepare in that respect.”
Sixth seed No1 Johanna Konta bids to reach the fourth round against Greek world No101 Maria Sakkari, while fellow Britons Heather Watson and Aljaz Bedene face Victoria Azarenka and Gilles Muller respectively.