2/1/13 5:49 AM | Cheryl Murray
This match will be a good opportunity for the visiting Croats to gain an early lead on host Italy, as the players take to the indoor clay courts in Turin.
The surface the Italians chose, predictable clay against the big-hitting Croats,will certainly be of benefit to the Italian side. Fabio Fognini, a player ranked 44 in the world, prefers to play on the dirt, but world No. 13 Marin Cilic has already proven that he can beat Fognini handily on his favored surface. The two men last clashed on clay back in 2011, with Cilic coming out with a decisive 6-2, 6-2 victory.
Still, the slightly more raucous Davis Cup environment should give Fognini a leg up and allow him to at least keep the match competitive.
Prediction - Cilic will have the distinct advantage in this match-up, even with the crowd and the surface working against. Expect the Croats to charge out to a 1-0 lead first thing on Friday.
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