World No.2 and 11-time champion of Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters Rafael Nadal of Spain, will play the 18th-ranked Fabio Fognini of Italy in the semifinals of the Monte-Carlo Masters on Saturday April 20. The match is scheduled to follow the first semifinal which starts at 1.30 pm local time (12.30 pm BST). You can find the Rafael Nadal v Fabio Fognini live streaming options here.
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Rafael Nadal v Fabio Fognini Head to Head
These two players have played each other 14 times before. Rafael Nadal has dominated this matchup with 11 wins and three defeats. Fognini last beat the Spaniard in a memorable US Open match in 2015 and their contests on clay have been very close. Their recent meeting in Rome last year went to three sets where Nadal was victorious.
Nadal is Unbeatable Even on a Bad Day!
Rafael Nadal’s hard-fought victory over Guido Pella on Friday was a further reminder that even a below-par performance from the indefatigable Spaniard is sufficient to sweep past the rest of the field.
Pella looked destined to end Nadal’s 23-set winning streak in Monte-Carlo until he completely capitulated towards the end of the first set, succumbing to nerves and Nadal’s unrelenting tennis.
The World No.2 is seeking an unprecedented 12th title in the Principality and his opening two matches were near-perfect.
His struggles on holding serve were evident in the first set against the Argentinian Pella and he never found his range during the rallies until the tiebreak. Nadal’s rustiness could open the door for Fabio Fognini to claim an unlikely upset, but the World No.2 will be keen to show it was merely a blip rather than a cause for concern.
Fognini Poised To End Nadal’s Reign In Monte-Carlo
Fabio Fognini arrived in Monte-Carlo on a terrible run of results. He played with fire during his opening match against Andrey Rublev but managed to win from a set and two breaks down. The Italian produced a not too dissimilar recovery against Borna Coric in the quarterfinals while being cheered by a vociferous crowd on Court Rainier III.
The Italian is quite possibly the only player left in the draw that could do serious damage to Nadal on this surface due to his excellent shot-making from the back of the court.
However, the Italian No.2’s recent comments about needing surgery after the French Open to repair his elbow will have an impact to most of his matches from now until then. His right arm was heavily strapped midway through his match against Coric and he played almost every point on adrenaline.
Nadal v Fognini Predictions & Tips
Fognini has the game to trouble Nadal especially when you consider that the Spaniard had not played much competitively since the Australian Open. But the real worry for the Italian is that he is hurting physically and he reiterated during his presser a couple of days ago about his elbow and ankle injuries. I am afraid this could end very quickly for Fognini if he makes another slow start.
Tip: Games Handicap Nadal -5.5: 4/6 (888Sport)
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