Rafael Nadal witnessed firsthand his 4-1 set lead vanish on Friday, thus prompting him to give it his all to beat the famed and skilled Italian player, Fabio Fognini. Fognini name gained more fame as he was boosted by the capacity Court Central audience that was spectating the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
Nadal, also dubbed as the Spanish superstar, brutally denied Fognini his wishes of scoring a win as an early present for his young son, Federico. During the match, Nadal managed to score an impressive 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory that is keeping him in the strong pursuit of retiring to the prized number one spot in the ATP rankings.
If Nadal manages to score his eighth trophy during the Foro Italico competition in Rome, it would be his 32nd record ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown. Nadal will then be in the process of succeeding and eventually replacing the skilled player from Switzerland, Roger Federer at this upcoming summit for men’s professional tennis on May 21st, 2018. On Saturday, Nadal will be playing his 10th Rome semi-finals game against the Siberian number eleven seed and four-time recorded finalist, Novak Djokovic or, depending on the results, The Japanese player, Ken Nishikori.
Nadal – Multiple Championship Wins
Nadal has been the Rome champion of 2005-2007, 2009-2010, and 2012-2013, is currently ranked 54-6 at the historical and ironically known clay-court tournament. Nadal’s intensity was obviously shown as he netted the first break of the match, which had a 3-1 lead at the time. At first, Fognini led the Spanish based player through an extremely wide backhand volley into the open court. However, Nadal flawlessly ran back in and hit the winning backhand strike.
As Fognini was cheered on by his courtside companions, he was finally broken during the 2-4 during the fourth break point with a miscalculated forehand return down the court. Thus, causing Nadal to lead 4-1. During this match, Nadal won 11 out of 41 of the available points. Moreover, Fognini was moving at a fantastic pace and skill around the court, managing to win the first set against Nadal. However, Nadal showed that he wasn’t ready to give up yet as he made a shocking return and refocused his intentions. On the set point moment of the game, Nadal managed to hit a perfected slice serve out wide before striking a crosscourt backhand.
After the game, the beaming Spanish player commented on his performance. Nadal stated how having a break as early as the second set gave him a much-needed confidence boost for this match. The 31-year-old player added on to his statement, reflecting on his playing skills, stating that as he used his forehand strikes more aggressively, his backhand strikes become more precise and effortless. As the Spaniard chucked, he reflected on how every part of the game was a positive learning experience that was needed for his career at this point. Nadal finished his sentiment with a piece of advice that he always keeps in his heart, stating the importance of having the ability to change the dynamics in the match to achieve the desired result – winning.
While Fognini competitor suffered a minor setback during the match, Nadal managed to come back with a passion for victory scored him that desired win after a two hour and fifteen-minute game. This was Fognini first quarter-final in Rome, during his 11th showing at his home tournament.