Barcelona, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) – Eight-time champion Rafael Nadal
succumbed to fiery Italian Fabio Fognini in Thursday’s third-round action at
the $2.1 million Barcelona Open tennis event.
The 13th-seeded Fognini stunned the second-seeded former world No. 1 Nadal
6-4, 7-6 (8-6) on the red clay at Real Club de Tenis Barcelona.
Fognini is now 2-4 lifetime versus Nadal, with both wins coming in their last
two matchups. The Italian also beat the Spaniard in a semifinal in Rio back in
The struggling nine-time French Open king Nadal, slowed by injuries over the
last 10 months, has now lost two of his last three matches and failed to reach
the final in his last four tournaments since titling in Argentina on March 1.
The 28-year-old great is now 43-3 lifetime in Barcelona.
Meanwhile, top-seeded and defending champion Kei Nishikori and third-seeded
four-time runner-up David Ferrer avoided upsets on Day 4. The 2014 U.S. Open
runner-up Nishikori whipped 15th-seeded Colombian Santiago Giraldo 6-2, 6-1 in
a rematch of last year’s Barcelona final, while Ferrer handled Swedish wild
card Elias Ymer 6-3, 6-4.
In other third-round action, Pablo Andujar upset fifth-seeded fellow Spaniard
Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4, seventh-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut
bested 10th-seeded Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 and 14th-seeded
Slovak Martin Klizan took care of Dominican Victor Estrella Burgos 6-4, 6-3.
This week’s champion will collect $495,000.