Fognini stuns Nadal to enter Monte Carlo Masters final

Last Updated: Sat, Apr 20, 2019 21:45 hrs
Fognini beats Nadal

Italy's Fabio Fognini has stunned 11-time champion Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-2 at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters to advance to his first ATP Masters 1000 final. Fognini will meet fellow first-time tour-level finalist Dusan Lajovic for the trophy. Lajovic, who is yet to drop a set in the Principality this week (10-0), was 1-5 down in the first set but came back to beat Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-1. Fognini and Lajovic have never met at tour-level.

Fognini claimed 11 of 14 games from 1-3 down in the first set to stun the 33-time Masters 1000 champion after one hour and 36 minutes. Fognini's fourth victory in 15 FedEx ATP Head2Head encounters against the 80-time tour-level titlist ends 18-match and 25-set winning streaks for Nadal in the Principality.

Fognini is only the second player after Novak Djokovic to defeat Nadal at the Monte-Carlo Country Club after the quarter-finals. Djokovic had ended Nadal's 46-match win streak to claim the 2013 title and also defeated the Spaniard in the semis in 2015.

The eight-time tour-level titlist is just the fourth man to defeat Nadal at the Monte Carlo Masters, the others being Novak Djokovic (2013, '15), David Ferrer (2014) and Guillermo Coria (2003).

Nadal was bidding to reach his 13th final in Monte-Carlo and match Roger Federer's record for most final appearances at Masters 1000 level (50). The Manacor native owns a 33-16 record in his 49 championship matches at Masters 1000 level, which includes an 11-1 record at this event.