Fognini tries but Nadal wins

For a set and a half he made Italian fans dream: then the game was shot more for the merits of Nadal than for the fault of the blue but the spectators of Arthur Ashe still had a lot of fun and applauded Fabio Fognini, who left the scene in the second round of the US Open ($ 27,985,686 in prize money), fourth and last Slam of 2022 on the concrete of Flushing Meadows in New York.

In the Italian night the 35 year old from Arma di Taggian.60 ATP, at the fourteenth participation with the eighths of 2015 (stopped by Feliciano Lopez) as the best result, yielded 26 64 62 61after almost two hours and three quarters of the game, to the Spanish Rafael Nadal, n.3 in the ranking and second favorite in seeding, in the sixteenth presence (he had not participated since 2019) with already 4 trophies on the bulletin board (2010, 2013, 2017 and 2019).

For a set and a half Fabio dominated a disastrous Nadal, especially with the backhand (13 errors with this fundamental in the first hour of the game): then the left-handed from Manacor had the chance to return and from 62 4-2 for the blue has won 16 of the last 19 games.

The Majorcan, record holder of Grand Slam titles (22), thus signed the 62nd victory on New York hardcourt: he is seventh in the ranking of the most successful in the Stars and Stripes Major. Thanks to this result, Rafa has secured – first of all – a place at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin (17th qualification for him to the tournament that closes the season, one of the few who has never managed to win).

The 36-year-old left-handed from Manacor was leading by 13 to 4 in the balance of the previous ones (the blue last time beat the former world number one in the semifinals in Monte-Carlo in 2019). Nadal had also won 7 of the 8 matches played on outdoor hardcourt: Fognini’s only success was in the third round at Flushing Meadows in 2015 when he won a comeback in the fifth. At his debut in New York the Ligurian had recovered two sets of disadvantage to the Russian Karatsev (# 38 ATP): the Majorcan had granted the first set to the Australian wild card Hijikata (# 198 ATP).

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