WATCH: When Fabio Fognini Destroyed Rafael Nadal at the Monte-Carlo Masters

Published 04/14/2020, 11:31 AM EDT


Rafael Nadal has dominated on the clay-court like no other player in the history of the sport. It takes a herculean task for any opponent to get the better of Nadal on clay. However, the entire tennis world was shaken when Fabio Fognini defeated Nadal in straight sets at the 2019 Monte-Carlo Masters.

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Nadal was aiming to reach his 13th finals at Monte-Carlo as he met Fognini in the semifinals. However, the flamboyant Italian, who was struggling with his form, surprised the ‘King of Clay’ with his unpredictable performance. Fognini defeated Nadal 6-4, 6-2 in just one hour and 36 minutes to reach his maiden ATP Masters 1000 finals.

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Fognini claimed 11 of 14 games after being 1-3 down in the first set to stun the 11-time champion. Nadal’s loss ended his 18-match and 25-set winning streak on his favorite surface. This was Fognini’s fourth victory in 15 encounters against Nadal.

“One of the worst matches on Clay in 14 years” – Rafael Nadal

Fognini entered the tournament with a five-match losing streak on clay. Moreover, he started the event with a substandard performance in the first round against Andrey Rublev.

However, he denied his sixth straight defeat on the surface after a set and break down as he won the first round in a three-setter. Subsequently, Fognini took everyone by surprise as he went on to clinch his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title.

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Fognini certainly upped his level against Nadal. He was successful in taking the time away from the Mallorcan at every opportunity. He took advantage of almost every short balls from Nadal and pushed him on the back foot, forcing him to make more errors.

It was unquestionably one of the most remarkable victories of Fabio’s career. On the other band, Nadal described his loss as “one of the worst matches on clay in 14 years.”

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With this victory, Fognini became the second player after Novak Djokovic to defeat Nadal at the Monte-Carlo Masters after the quarterfinals. It was also the first time in the history of Monte-Carlo Masters when both the finalist reached the championship match for the first time.

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Varun Khanna

1334 articles

Starting off as a tennis author in 2018, Varun Khanna has gone on to contribute to EssentiallySports in various capacities. After setting up interviews with the likes of Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou, Alizé Cornet, and Noah Rubin, Varun is now part of all major ATP and WTA press conferences and has gone on to pen more than 1300 articles for EssentiallySports. He now heads the tennis and NBA division of the organization.

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