Rafael Nadal overcomes Fabio Fognini in four sets in US Open second round
Nov 9, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a forehand return during a point in the second round against Fabio Fognini of Italy at Wells Fargo Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
The first two sets were tightly contested—and Nadal was in control—before Fognini roared back with an incredible forehand volley. He broke Nadal at 5-3 as Nadal was serving. Nadal, who was up 6-3 in the set, came back and got a break to even the match at 6-all. Fognini took advantage at 6-2 when Nadal was serving and took his second break of the match to go up 6-4. Then, at 8-5, Nadal had a chance to come back and take an unassailable lead but missed his second serve. Fognini was up 10-6 and eventually took the set. Nadal broke Fognini again in the second set and this time took his fourth break of the match to go up, 12-10, but Fognini fired back to win the breaker.
The third set was even until a sensational passing forehand by Fognini on break point. Nadal was serving at 6-4 when the ball ricocheted off the back of Fognini’s racket and into the net. He held his serve and went up 2-1. The match went into a third set, where Fognini continued to attack Nadal in the net. He reached 16-31 but Nadal came back to even the match at 16-all. Fognini broke Nadal at match point on break point but Nadal was up 18-30 when Fognini won the breaker. At that point, it looked like it was going to be a marathon.
In the fourth set and down 0-3 in the opening sets, you have to make big points to win. Nadal took his first two points to close the match at that point but couldn’t serve out the match and lost in four sets. Fognini went on to win the bronze medal at the Rio Olympics. Nadal, who retired in January 2017 due to injury, won the Masters 1000 series and is the No. 1-ranked player in the world.
The US Open doesn’t have a fourth