Fognini stuns Nadal

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Published: Sunday 22nd February 2015 by The News Editor

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Rafael Nadal lost his first semi-final on clay for 12 years as Fabio Fognini booked a place in the final of the Rio Open at the world number three’s expense.

The Spaniard, who was the reigning champion at Jockey Club Brasileiro, was in sparkling form in the opening set, but Italian number one Fognini came storming back to end his defence at the penultimate hurdle 1-6 6-2 7-5.

The fourth seed wrapped up the victory in two hours and 17 minutes with his third match point to record only his first win in five matches against Nadal.

Fognini, aiming to win a fifth title, will now lock horns with Nadal’s compatriot David Ferrer in Sunday’s final.

Second seed Ferrer came through a comfortable last-four clash against Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer 7-5 6-1 to secure his spot in Sunday’s showpiece.

The women’s final will be contested by top seed Sara Errani and rising star Anna Schmiedlova after they won their respective semis on Saturday.

Errani, who has only dropped one set in Brazil this week, needed just under 90 minutes to squeeze past Sweden’s Johanna Larsson 7-5 6-3.

The Italian, who had not dropped a set in five previous meetings with Larsson, was in trouble 3-0 down in the second set, but she reeled off six games in a row to claim the win.

“I think I was just a little bit more consistent and a little bit more aggressive today,” Errani told the WTA website. “It was a much different match than the one I played yesterday – but I was still fighting for every point and trying my best, and I’m glad I could make it through to the final here in Rio.”

Slovakian Schmiedlova, 20, upset second seed Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 after two hours and 43 minutes to secure her place in the final.

“I was playing well in the first set. The second set was tough, but I’m glad I was able to start playing better again in the third set and win the match,” she said.

Published: Sunday 22nd February 2015 by The News Editor

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