Murray‘s March to O2 continues against Fognini

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Andy Murray’s late surge toward the ATP Finals at London’s O2 Arena continues in earnest as the Scot attempts to beat Fabio Fognini for only the second time.

Fognini holds the advantage as far as the head-to-head record is concerned, leading the Scot 2-1 and beating Murray in straight sets in a Davis Cup tie earlier this year, but still it is Murray who should be backed at 1/8.

Fognini can hold his own when at the top his game but is woeful at times when he’s not.

Murray will take great confidence from the Italian’s meltdown earlier this year when he flew into a rage on court after being outplayed by world number 394 Wang Chuhan.

The 2013 Wimbledon champion will take further confidence from Fognini’s lack of activity at the indoor courts this year.

His opponent has played just three matches on the surface so far, winning two and losing the other.

By contrast, Murray has ventured out onto the carpet eight times and won seven of those encounters, including his emphatic 6-3,6-3 result against Jurgen Melzer in the first round in Valencia.

Fognini also sailed through his first round match in straight sets but with Murray clearly desperate to make the showpiece tournament in Greenwich, the Scot – seeded third for this event – should make his class tell against a player ranked nine places lower than him in the world standings.

Fognini, can be backed at 9/2 to cause an upset, and given his record against the two-time Slam winner it’s not the daftest of bets but the Gut Trusters out there will steer you towards backing the Brit.

That said, the world number 19 clearly knows how to rock Murray and as such it could pay to take the longer odds of 7/2 that say the Brit will advance to the next round while dropping a set to the Italian.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.