Men’s Final: [CR10] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. [CR32] Fabio Fognini (ITA)
It was a final littered with errors; yet, full of drama. Nadal wanted to reclaim his dominance over Fognini and Fognini was out to prove that he had Nadal’s number. Both sets were filled with break chances and there were numerous breaks as expected. The winner would ultimately be the one who converted one more break chance. Nadal continued to struggle on serve and remained too tentative, allowing Fognini to dictate play at will. Although Fognini had opportunities to win both sets, costly errors did him in. Fognini was not as emotionally volatile as he can be, and stayed focused despite losing the first set, forcing Nadal to win this match.
This was a critical victory for Nadal and despite the persistence of his inconsistent form, Nadal defeated Fognini 7-5, 7-5. Will this help Nadal in his re-building process? He served well; however, at crucial moments, he still had the jitters and either double-faulted or made an unforced error. Nevertheless, he walked away with the victory and defeating Fognini who had gotten under his skin recently should boost his confidence. Do not expect vintage Nadal though. The signs are promising; there were more evidence of the old Nadal in this tournament than in recent history. His semifinal match was the best he has played in a long time. He will look to build on these positives.