Rafael Nadal overcomes Fabio Fognini in four sets in US Open second round
Fabio Fognini: Has become a man of the moment in his career
Rafael Nadal has been beaten by Spaniard Fognini in four sets in a compelling second-round tie against the Italian in the US Open.
Nadal, the 2008 French Open champion, trailed Fognini 4-2 in the third before dominating the final set to secure his fifth win over the Italian on the clay surface.
Nadal’s victory was a second-round triumph over Fognini in the US before the Italian was beaten by the Spanish on Arthur Ashe Stadium in 2011, in a match that saw Rafael through to his first Grand Slam final.
Fognini, who stunned Nadal on the same surface in a shock defeat in the 2008 French Open final, began his US Open campaign with a surprise victory over Argentine qualifier David Nalbandian last month.
Nadal was stunned in his first-round match against the German, losing in three sets, and was also the victim of a shock loss at his home Grand Slam tournament on Rod Laver Arena in New York.
However, he won two more matches before the US Open, and is now in a position to advance to his first Grand Slam semi-finals.
“It was a tough match (against Nadal), but also very important for me. After losing to David in the first round, I started to prepare a lot and tried to find ways to win,” said Fognini.
“It was really easy to beat Nadal. The way to win against him is always to be aggressive. I was aggressive and I managed to control and break him several times. I think it was a great opportunity to play this match because I played very well.”
Nadal said: “I didn’t expect to be 3-4 today, so I played some big balls right on the baseline. I