Fognini shines for a set and a half, then Nadal changes gear.  And it wins

Fognini shines for a set and a half, then Nadal changes gear. And it wins

Fabio ahead 6-2 4-2, then Rafa changes gear and closes in four sets despite a racket on the nose that knocked him out

Seven years after the sensational elimination in 2015, Rafael Nadal takes his revenge on Fabio Fognini and beats him in four sets – 2-6 6-4 6-2 6-1 – in the second round of the 2022 United States Open. despite the blow to the nose remedied in the first 15 at 3-0 in the fourth set. The 36-year-old Spaniard was moving to his right when he hit a backhand. After making contact with the ball, his racket touched the court, bounced up and hit his nose. Nadal went to the sidelines and lay down, waiting for the physiotherapist, Fognini also went to check how he was. Speaking of the accident with the racket at the end of the game, Nadal said that it was a “shock” and then “it had happened to me once before, but with a golf club”.

The match

A splendid Fabio Fognini withstood the impact during the first two sets, then crashes in the distance to the Spanish superlative who wins 2-6 6-4 6-2 6-1. Rafa keeps the first round of the match at zero, while Fabio has to go to the advantage to keep him after the recovery of the Spaniard from 40-0 to 40 all. Despite the ace with which Nadal opens the third game, it is on the straight that the fate of the game is decided: the shots of the Ligurian are already hot, those of the Spaniard instead come out badly from Rafa’s racket and so there is immediately the break . The blue is in complete possession of the match, flies to 5-2 thanks to a new break and then closes a masterful set played at a high level for 6-2. Fabio enjoys the moment, a break still goes on twice in the initial stages of the second set, he keeps it calmly until 4-2, then Rafa senses the danger: going down by two sets means leaving an infinite amount of energy on the field . The 22-time Grand Slam champion changes course to the game and with five consecutive games brings the race back to a tie.

The key

The game changes masters, the Spaniard wins 13 of the next 15 games flying ahead 2 sets at 1 and 3-0 in the fourth. A game to catch his breath after the injury to his nose and then another streak of 3 games for the Spaniard until the final 2-6 6-4 6-2 6-1 matured in 2 hours and 42 minutes of play. Fognini finished with only one ace, 9 double fouls, 62% of first with which, however, he made only 52% of the points: 15 points instead obtained in 19 downhill runs, 24 winners and 60 free mistakes. Nadal instead made 4 aces, 2 double fouls, 11 points in 15 downsides, 20 winners and 37 free mistakes. The Spaniard continues the race chasing the title and regaining the first world position, now facing the French Richard Gasquet in the third round. The official balance between the two in the main circuit is 17 victories to nil for the Spaniard who however lost the first challenge played in 2003 in the challenger of St. Jean de Luz. With the departure of Fabio Fognini, Italy remains firmly in the tournament thanks to the three record blues (like last year) who reached the third round.

The accident

Speaking of the accident with the racket at the end of the game, Nadal said that it was a “shock” and then “it had happened to me once before, but with a golf club”. It happened at the first point of the game with Nadal leading 3-0. The 36-year-old Spaniard was moving to his right when he hit a backhand. After making contact with the ball, his racket touched the court, bounced up and hit his offspring. Nadal went to the sidelines and lay down, waiting for the coach, and Fognini went to check how he was. “He told me it was all right,” said Fabio. After getting a blindfold put on his nose, Nadal resumed playing. He lost that game and that’s it.

the program

Today at 18 Italian Matteo Berrettini opens the day session on the central named after Arthur Ashe facing Andy Murray, champion in 2012. In case of victory Matteo will then have in the second round one between the Colombian Galan and the Spanish Davidovich Fokina. On Saturday, however, it will be Lorenzo Musetti’s turn to face Belarusian Ilya Ivanska (n ° 73 in the world) and Jannik Sinner to challenge the American Brandon Nakashima (n ° 69 in the world) as a favorite. In case of victory Musetti and Sinner would clash in an all blue derby in the next round. Only once in the history of the tournament has Italy managed to qualify more than one player for the round of 16. It happened last year with Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner. This year, on the other hand, a fantastic trio is even within reach.

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