Nadal overcomes crowd and Fognini to reach Rome semifinals

Spain's Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Italy's Fabio Fognini during a quarter final match at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Friday, May 18, 2018. (Ettore Ferrari/ANSA via AP)
Italy's Fabio Fognini stands on the central court during a quarter final match against Spain's Rafael Nadal at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Friday, May 18, 2018. (Ettore Ferrari/ANSA via AP)
Germany's Angelique Kerber returns the ball to Ukraine's Elina Svitolina during a quarter final match at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Friday, May 18, 2018. (Claudio Onorati/ANSA via AP)
Ukraine's Elina Svitolina returns the ball to Germany's Angelique Kerber during a quarter final match at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Friday, May 18, 2018. (Claudio Onorati/ANSA via AP)
Ukraine's Elina Svitolina sports a tattoo on her leg during a quarter final match against Germany's Angelique Kerber at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Friday, May 18, 2018. (Claudio Onorati/ANSA via AP)

ROME — Seven-time champion Rafael Nadal overcame a poor first set and a partisan crowd to beat Fabio Fognini 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 and reach the Italian Open semifinals on Friday.

The crowd at the Foro Italico was decidedly behind Fognini, Italy's top player, and Nadal was under pressure when Fognini won five straight games to cancel out a 4-1 deficit and win the opening set.

But Fognini couldn't keep up with Nadal's consistency and heavy topspin on the red clay court and eventually was physically worn down.

Fognini had tape applied under his left knee while trailing 3-2 in the third set due to an apparent physical problem.

For a spot in the final, Nadal will play four-time Rome champion Novak Djokovic or Kei Nishikori.

In the women's quarterfinals, defending champion Elina Svitolina defeated Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-4 for her sixth straight victory over the former No. 1 player.

Svitolina will next face Caroline Wozniacki or Anett Kontaveit.

___

More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis

___

Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampf

Must Read

Martins Dukurs takes European skeleton title with...

Dec 15, 2017

Latvian slider Martins Dukurs won the European skeleton title for a third straight year by earning...

Shiffrin beats Holdener, Hansdotter for World Cup...

Dec 28, 2017

Olympic champion Shiffrin wins women's World Cup slalom after big 1st-run lead

Goggia leads Italian sweep at World Cup downhill;...

Jan 14, 2018

Goggia leads Italian sweep of podium at World Cup downhill; Vonn finishes 27th

Svindal beats Jansrud for Norwegian 1-2 in World...

Jan 19, 2018

Aksel Lund Svindal led a Norwegian 1-2 finish ahead of Kjetil Jansrud in the last World Cup super-G...

Austria to send 105 athletes to Pyeongchang...

Jan 22, 2018

Austria to send 105 athletes to Pyeongchang Olympics; Alpine skier Anna Veith named flagbearer

Search

About Us

From transfer news, tactical analysis to predictions, get only the best of the world of sports daily with Daily Sports Club.

Contact us: sales[at]dailysportsclub.com

Subscribe Now!