Rafael Nadal is arguably the best player on clay. He is also fondly called the “King of clay” for his staggering achievements on the surface. However, a few years ago, he was almost bageled on clay.

Rafael Nadal was playing against Fabio Fognini in the semifinals of the 2019 Monte-Carlo Masters. The Spaniard lost the first set 6-4 and was on the verge of a 6-0 loss in the second set.

Fabio Fognini
Fabio Fognini during a Rogers Cup game (Getty)

The Italian tennis pro – Fabio Fognini was serving for the set and the match and he led 40-0 at one point. However, he squandered the golden opportunity to bagel the legendary athlete as the southpaw eventually won the game.

Fognini must not have been too disappointed though as he eventually won the match 6-4, 6-2 to progress to the final. He also won the final match against Dusan Lajovic to win the title.

Fabio Fognini versus Rafael Nadal – Head-to-Head stats

Fabio Fognini’s win against Rafael Nadal at the 2019 Monte-Carlo Masters was the only time he got one over the southpaw in eight attempts.

Rafael Nadal Fabio Fognini
Rafael Nadal (R) and Fabio Fognini during a Rogers Cup game (Getty)

They locked horns for the first time in 2016 at the quarter-final of the Barcelona Open. Nadal won in straight sets 6-2, 7-6.

The following year, Nadal defeated Fognini in straight sets in the Miami Open. A couple of months later at the Madrid Open, Nadal notched up his third win against Fognini. At the Shanghai Masters, Nadal once again defeated Fognini.

At the 2018 Italian Open, Fognini won the first set in his quarter-final clash against Nadal. However, the legendary Spaniard came back strongly to eventually pick up the victory. After the upset at the Monte-Carlo Masters, Fognini has faced defeat on two occasions. The 2019 Canadian Open quarter-final, and the Australian Open fourth round.

Fabio Fognini is currently playing in the Winston-Salem Open. He defeated Dusan Lajovic in the first round an will now face Jack Draper in the round of 32.

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