Wasn’t it great to see big John Isner win his maiden Masters 1000 title last night, I felt made up for him and i thought both players spoke extremely graciously after the match. As for the match itself , well it went exactly as we thought, 3 sets, a tie break and plenty of holds of serve. I hope you managed to profit from some of the advice given.
Today sees us look at the JC Ferrero, Challenger Tour event in Alicante, Spain and the match between the 17 year old Canadian, Felix Auger-Aliassime and 18 year old reigning Junior Wimbledon champion, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
The tournament itself is situated in the city of Villena on the East coast of Spain, and is named after former Spanish world number 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero. This is the first tournament in the region of Alicante since 1996 and is a brand new addition to the Tour calendar, it will be interesting to see how well it is organised and is greeted by the players.
These two have met once before, in 2016 at the U.S Open Juniors, Auger-Aliassime was the victor on this occasion 6-4 7-6.
This is Auger-Aliassime’s first match of the season on the clay, he won 2 Challenger titles on the dirt last season (Seville and Lyon), and won 25 of his 33 matches on this surface last year.
Davidovich Fokina has played two matches on the clay this year, beating Norbert Gombos and then losing to Marco Trungelliti last week in Marbella.
Auger-Aliassime’s Past 12 Months Clay Court Mean Serving Stats
Won 70% of his service points
Held serve 83% of the time
Auger-Aliassime has a very useful serve, he wins a very high % of his first serves (80%) and will hit a number of aces throughout a match. He also does a good job with his second serve, and will make it as difficult as possible to attack, he has a second serve win % of on the clay of 53% over the past 12 months, this is above the Tour average of 49%.
Davidovich Fokina’s Past 12 Months Clay Court Mean Serving Stats
Won 56% of his service points
Held serve 64% of the time
Davidovich Fokina’s serve needs improvement, it can be a liability at times for him and it is too easy to attack at present. He will need to keep his first serve % high today, if not i can see him being broken frequently.
Auger-Aliassime’s Past 12 Months Clay Court Mean Return Stats
Won 39% of his return points
Won 47% of his break points
Opponents have held 68% of the time against him
Auger-Aliassime has a good return of serve, his break point conversion is above the 12 month clay court Tour average and he will create on average 1 break point every 2 return games. Couple this impressive stat in with Davidovich Fokina’s weaker serve and I feel like the Canadian should be able to create plenty of chance to break today.
Davidovich Fokina’s Past 12 Months Clay Court Mean Return Stats
Won 44% of his return points
Won 49% of his break points
Opponents have held 65% of the time against him
Davidovich Fokina has a very useful return of serve, he is athletic and reads opponents serves well. He does at times struggle to return with depth off the backhand side, but on his forehand he will return the ball with interest, especially of any weaker second serve.
Auger Aliassime’s Groundstrokes
Auger Aliassime hits the ball with topspin off both sides. He favours his forehand wing but is still very adept off the backhand side. He has the ability to be patient and trade from the back of the court and will hit with good and regular depth. He also can be aggressive and attack given the opportunity and will put away any loose or short balls with aplomb.
Davidovich Fokina’s Groundstrokes
Davidovich Fokina will also play predominantly from the baseline, and will be consistent and look to attack where he can off the forehand. His backhand is his weaker wing and he has a tendency to drop the ball short off this side, which can get him in trouble at times. Look out for his inside out forehand out to the Auger Aliassime backhand a lot today.
I expect this to be pretty competitive, but ultimately i feel like Auger-Aliassime has more weapons, a better serve, more consistency and should win.
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