Miami 2014: Nadal continues to impress; defeats Fognini to reach Miami quarters
- Miami 2014: Nadal continues to impress; defeats Fognini to reach Miami quarters
Round 4: Rafael Nadal def. Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-2
Rafael Nadal produced yet another dominant display in Miami as he sent Italian Fabio Fognini packing in straight sets, and eased into the quarterfinals.
Fognini was hampered with some injury, but Nadal was relentless in his pursuit for perfection. Nadal broke him in the opening game pretty easily, as Fognini started erratically. He followed it up with a love hold in his own service game, with his backhand particularly impressive.
Fognini seemed to have imploded already, quickly giving Nadal another three break points with some wild shots. But then he played with composure and saved 3 break points, only to be broken again eventually.
While Fognini seemed to be playing lackluster tennis, Nadal went about business as usual as he wrapped another love hold to lead 4-0.
With the breeze blowing hard, Fognini finally managed to hold. Nadal responded with his third straight love hold of the match.
Fognini produced some brilliant tennis in the next game, but it was too little too late as Nadal wrapped the opening set 6-2 with his fourth love hold of the match. His serving was simply infallible and so were his returns as he finished with just 2 unforced errors compared to Fognini’s 16.
The second set started in the same fashion as the first, except Fognini’s temper increased considerably as he smashed his racquet after making another unforced error. Nadal remained unperturbed, as he continued in routine fashion to dismantle his opponent. He lost his first point on his serve courtesy a double fault, but, still held on to his serve easily to consolidate the break.
Although Nadal was at his dominant best, the fact that Fognini hardly gave him a challenge made this match less exciting compared to his previous two matches.
Fognini played his first solid service game of the match in the following game. He used his quick flat forehands to land the ball at Nadal’s feet, giving him less room. He got his first love hold of the match.
Nadal continued to impress on serve, and reached break point on Fognini’s next service game. Though Fognini had reduced his errors count, but still wasn’t returning well enough. Nadal played a superb net point to break Fognini again to take a commanding 4-1 lead.
Fognini managed to make the scoreline a little bit more respectable as he held serve again, leaving Nadal to serve for the set at 5-2.
Nadal finished with style and class. He produced a stunning top spin forehand down the line and then a couple more errors from Fognini gave him the match.
This was Nadal’s most impressive performance yet, and that’s saying something considering he was outstanding in his previous two matches too. He faces Canadian Milos Raonic next.Published 26 Mar 2014, 12:49 IST