Federer, Nadal’s Final Opponent Again

Miami Open, USA

Men’s Semifinal:  [7] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. [40] Fabio Fognini (ITA)M

Nadal led their head-to-head 7:3; however, Fognini is a dangerous opponent.  In 2015, Fognini defeated Nadal three out of the five times they played, and one of those losses came after Nadal led two sets to none. The mind has a tendency to dwell on negative life experiences and no doubt, Nadal has pondered that US Open loss a few times.  Nadal seems to have regained his equilibrium against Fognini, but he knows that he cannot take victory for granted and he has to be on the alert for the mental game that Fognini plays on court.

After going up 6-1, fans may have been tempted to give the match to Nadal; however, Fognini is well-known for his ability to escape defeat.  He did put up more resistance in the second set and perhaps if not for his questionable right arm injury things may have turned out differently.  I think Nadal wanted to win this one and was not going to allow Fognini to stop him.  He served really well and although he made too many errors at critical moments in the match, he won 6-1, 7-5.  Those errors are indicative that he still gets a little anxious during his matches.

Nadal did his part and is into his third hard court final of the season (his fifth Miami Open final).  So far he has been unlucky; perhaps he will be third time lucky.  His opponent will be Roger Federer for the third time this season, the second time in a final.  Will he finally be victorious or will Federer continue his domination?


1 Comment

  1. Of course Nadal will be victorious. I must admit, I was a bit nervous watching the match. There was a point where I had to walk away – I wondered if he was losing momentum. What ever it was, my number one male player pulled it together and went on to win.

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