Nadal dumped out in Barcelona

Published: Thursday 23rd April 2015 by The News Editor

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Rafael Nadal’s bid for a ninth Barcelona Open title ended in third-round defeat as Italian Fabio Fognini edged a hard-fought encounter 6-4 7-6 (8/6) to move into the quarter-finals.

Second-seed Nadal had easily seen off Nicolas Almagro in the previous round but found himself in trouble against Fognini, who had won in three sets in their previous meeting on the clay of Rio earlier this year.

And on the same surface in front of Nadal’s home crowd, it was Fognini who took the opening set 6-4 after a crucial break in the latter stages, though the second set was to prove an even tighter affair.

Fognini was able to save six break points in the opening game before conceding it to Nadal, though neither player really dominated even as the Spaniard went 4-2 up.

After Fognini first fought back to 4-4, the set eventually went to a tie-break with Nadal this time having to work his way back from facing match point at 6-3 to level up.

Nadal showed his resolve late on but it was Fognini who eventually won through 8-6, with his opponent missing a relatively routine forehand.

It was Fognini’s first win in his six Barcelona appearances but he will now face Pablo Andujar, who also caused an upset in coming through 6-3 6-4 against fifth-seed Feliciano Lopez.

Defending champion Kei Nishikori had little trouble going past Santiago Giraldo in straight sets, the 6-2 6-1 win coming in just under 90 minutes.

Nishikori, who had beaten Giraldo to win the crown last year, survived several break points to ensure a match-up against Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain.

Argentina’s Pablo Cuevas made a good fist of his third-round match against Bautista Agut, even stretching the first set to a tie-break, but the seventh seed eventually won 7-6 (7/5) 6-2.

David Ferrer continued the home presence in the tournament as he fended off Swedish wildcard Elias Ymer 6-3 6-4 to set up a clash with Philipp Kohlschreiber who beat Benoit Paire 6-4 7-6 (8/6).

Martin Klizan levelled up his head-to-head record at 1-1 against Victor Estrella Burgos after beating him 6-4 6-3 to progress to the quarter-finals. He faces the winner of an all-home encounter involving Tommy Robredo and Marcel Granollers.

Published: Thursday 23rd April 2015 by The News Editor

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