A battle between Fognini and Nadal is always electrifying to watch. The pair have played a total of 16 times, and unsurprisingly Nadal leads their head to head 12 wins to Fognini’s 4. Both players are clay court specialists and have met nine times on clay.
Fabio Fognini and Nadal
Fognini has been excellent on clay, winning 3 matches against the king of clay. The Italian’s biggest career title came last year at the Monte-Carlo Masters. He defeated Nadal in the semi finals 6-4, 6-2 in a dominant display. He also beat Alexander Zverev a few rounds before that.
On his day, the erratic Italian can be a handful for any player on Tour. He possesses an innate skill of striking the ball purely, but also often lacks the conviction when not in the mood.
Fabio also staged a stunning comeback in the 2015 US Open against Rafa. Down 0-2 sets, Fognini held on and fought back to win 3-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-4.
To win against Nadal is a big deal in itself, but to comeback from the brink of defeat and then go on to beat him is almost surreal. It was a testimony to the talent that Fognini possesses.
Coming to the other two members of the Big Three, Fognini has been unable to beat both in his career. He has faced Novak Djokovic eight times, losing all of them(he did give a walkover in one).
But what is even more astonishing is that Fognini has managed to win just two sets off Novak.
Finally, Fabio has faced Roger Federer 4 times, losing all of them. And guess what, he has never taken a set off the Swiss maestro.
Given his record against Djokovic and Federer, perhaps his comments are not all too surprising after all.
“When Roger and Novak are at their top, it is very difficult. They play so fast, give you no space. With Rafa it is different, his game is more physical. He destroys you in the rally and mentally. But you can play against him, you can run.”
Fabio also admitted he is lazy at times, which hasn’t helped his career.
“Sometimes I would rather sit on the couch than train or prepare for a tournament.”
That may be so, but he is an entertainer for sure.