There are not many players Rafa Nadal can consider his “black beasts”, but without a doubt that Fabio Fognini would be in that small group of players that always complicates the task of world number two.
The Italian, now at number 11 in the ranking, puts Nadal in a hurry every time they cross the track.
The balance between the two is clearly favorable to Nadal: they have been measured 16 times with 12 victories for Spanish and 4 for Italian. But when you go into the detail you can see how uncomfortable the winner of the 19 Grand Slams is, this rival’s game, which defeated him last year in the semifinals of Monte Carlo, on clay, and took another set in the quarterfinals. end of Montreal.
Fognini also eliminated Nadal in the quarterfinals of the 2015 US Open, and of that 25% of victories he has over Spanish, many players cannot boast.
In an interview with the Dutch NRC, Fognini gave some clues about this high percentage, especially in comparison with the one he has with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, the other two honorary members of the “Big Three”, whom he has never been able to win . He has lost eight times with the Serbian, world number one, and four times with the Swiss: “When Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are at the top, it is very difficult to beat them. They play very fast and don’t give you space ».
Instead, with Nadal, things change: «With Rafa it’s different. It is a more physical game and destroys you mentally with exchanges. But you can play against him, you can run ».
In the interview, Fognini also complains about being “a lazy man”, which has prevented him, in his opinion, from going further in the world of tennis: «Sometimes during games I get angry at the way I play . Outside tennis I try to enjoy life. Sometimes I didn’t take advantage of my talent. If I hadn’t been lazy, I would have gone further in tournaments. Many times I prefer to sit on the couch than train. .