Fognini vs. Nadal
|Date & Time||Friday March 31, 2017, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Rafael Nadal and Fabio Fognini meet Friday in the semifinals of the 2017 Miami Open.
Rafael Nadal is coming off a straight sets win over Jack Sock that took 17 games to decide. In the victory, Nadal won 71 percent of his first serve points and 56 percent of his second serve points. Nadal looked really sharp in his last match in which he won 46 percent of his return points and converted four of five break chances. Nadal has now won his last six sets and is starting to show signs of being the player we’re all used to seeing. As long as Nadal can be more consistent with his second serve, he’ll continue to make deep runs in tournaments. Nadal hopes to make his 104th career singles final and third this season. Nadal has won 10 of his last 12 matches on hard court.
Fabio Fognini is coming off a straight sets win over Kei Nishikori that took 18 games to decide. In the victory, Fognini won 67 percent of his first serve points and 50 percent of his second serve points. Fognini was able to take advantage of a banged up Nishikori and is playing in his first semifinal since Moscow. Fognini has won his last six sets and is extremely dangerous when hitting his spots, which he's done recently. Fognini has nine career wins over top-10 players with two coming this season. Fognini hopes to make his 13th career singles final and first since the 2016 Kremlin Cup. Fognini has won seven of his last eight matches on hard court.
These two have played 10 times in the past and Nadal has won seven of those meetings. The last meeting was in last years Barcelona Open, a match Nadal won in straight sets. Fognini’s last win over Nadal came in the 2015 US Open. Two of Fognini’s wins over Nadal came on clay court.
There’s going to be value in backing Fognini, as he has a few wins over Nadal and has the shotmaking to pull off the upset. However, Nadal is the more consistent player overall and is playing some of his best tennis of the year at this very moment. Nadal has seen enough of Fognini to take him out of his comfort zone and not allow so many chances for winners down the line.
This is a favorable match for Nadal.