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Tennis News – Fabio Fognini Stuns Rafa Nadal, Plays Dusan Lajovic In Monte-Carlo Finals

Fabio Fognini of Italy celebrates winning against Rafael Nadal of Spain during their semi final match at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tournament in Roquebrune Cap Martin, France, 20 April 2018. EPA-EFE/SEBASTIEN NOGIER
Fabio Fognini of Italy celebrates winning against Rafael Nadal of Spain during their semi final match at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tournament in Roquebrune Cap Martin, France, 20 April 2019. EPA-EFE/SEBASTIEN NOGIER

 

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

There will be no 12th title for Rafael Nadal at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. At least not this year.

 

Fabio Fognini stunned Nadal 6-4, 6-2 during semifinal action on Saturday afternoon, improbably advancing to his first Masters 1000 title match after one hour and 36 minutes.

 

It was Nadal’s first tournament back after missing a month due to knee issues, but he had been mostly dominant through three matches to suggest that nothing out of the ordinary would take place against Fognini. But a surprisingly erratic performance by the second-ranked Spaniard (25 unforced errors, six losses of serve) combined with a red-hot Fognini resulted in perhaps the biggest upset of this 2019 season.

 

Speaking of upsets, the Italian’s opponent on championship Sunday is Dusan Lajovic. The world No. 48 booked a spot in his first ATP final of any kind by beating Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-1. Lajovic trailed 5-1 in the first set before completely dominating the rest of the way to prevail in one hour and 35 minutes.

 

“It was an incredible match today,” the 28-year-old said. “I had the worst nightmare, falling down 5-1. But I won 10 games in a row, so I was able to find my rhythm and my game. In windy conditions like today, it was impossible to play real tennis and in the end I was able to hit my forehands better than him. I’m still unaware of my achievement in Monte-Carlo.”

 

It remains to be seen just how incredible his achievement becomes. Sunday’s matchup will be the first-ever between Fognini and Lajovic.

 

Draw

Dusan Lajovic…..d. Jaziri…..d. Goffin…..d. Thiem…..d. Sonego…..d. Medvedev
Fabio Fognini…..d. Rublev….W/O…..d. Zverev…..d. Coric…..d. Nadal

 

Seeds

1. Novak Djokovic: l. to Medvedev in QF
2. Rafael Nadal: l. to Fognini in SF
3. Alexander Zverev: l. to Fognini in R3
4. Dominic Thiem: l. to Lajovic in R3
5. Kei Nishikori: l. to Herbert  in R2
6. Stefanos Tsitsipas: l. to Medvedev in R3
7. Marin Cilic: l. to Pella in R2
8. Karen Khachanov: l. to Sonego in R2
9. Borna Coric: l. to Fognini in QF
10. Daniil Medvedev: l. to Lajovic in SF
11. Marco Cecchinato: l. to Pella in R3
12. Nikoloz Basilashvili: l. to Fucsovics in R1
13. Fabio Fognini: vs. Lajovic in F
14. Gael Monfils: WD
15. Denis Shapovalov: l to. Struff in R1
16. David Goffin: l. to Lajovic in R2
17. Edmund: l. to Schwartzman in R1

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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