Fognini leads their previous matches 2-1. The most recent was in October last year on a hard court. Fognini won in 2 sets. Their other 2 matches were on clay.
Fognini lost his first 9 matches on hard courts last season before reaching the 4th round of the US Open. That doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence but now that Pennetta has retired the dynamic of their relationship has changed. Perhaps less of a distraction and she can be there to support him.
Sousa has lost 8 of his last 10 on hard courts. This is a tempting price on Fognini but Sousa showed a little more intent at this stage last year. He lost his opening match but made the 3rd round in Melbourne.
Fognini is the better player and can win it if he is focused and gives a toss. Hopefully he is going for a top 10 finish this season. Its worth a small back of him.