Rafael Nadal Faces Fabio Fognini Friday In Barcelona; Kei Nishikori Win Streak At 12
by Staff | April 21st, 2016, 6:30 pm
  • 67 Comments

On a rainy day, Rafael Nadal won his seventh straight match Thursday crushing countryman Albert Montanes 6-2, 6-2 at the Barcelona Open. He then said with so much time left in the day that he might go see a movie!

“I need to do my recovery work as it is the second tournament in a row, last week was a hard week with a lot of long matches and so I’ll rest and maybe even go to the cinema,” Nadal told AFP.

Nadal’s streak will be put to the test Friday in the quarterfinals by new rival Fabio Fognini. The Italian took three of five meetings last year including shocking second round win in Barcelona last year.

“Tomorrow will be a tough match against Fognini, he beat me three times last year and it was up and down against him.” said Nadal.

Nadal just won his first Masters title in almost two years in Monte Carlo on Sunday. He is also seeking a ninth Barcelona title this week.

Also, 2-time defending champion Kei Nishikori improved his win streak at the tournament to 12 after defeating Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 7-5.

Nishikori moves on to face Alexandr Dolgopolov, who stopped the run of qualifier Karen Khachanov 6-4, 7-5.

FRIDAY BARCELONA SCHEDULE
PISTA CENTRAL start 12:30 pm
[6] [WC] B. Paire (FRA) vs M. Jaziri (TUN)
[11] A. Dolgopolov (UKR) vs [2] K. Nishikori (JPN)
[1] R. Nadal (ESP) vs [12] F. Fognini (ITA)
[16] A. Kuznetsov (RUS) vs [10] P. Kohlschreiber (GER)


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67 Comments for Rafael Nadal Faces Fabio Fognini Friday In Barcelona; Kei Nishikori Win Streak At 12

Wog Boy Says:

After Barcelona Rafa will be, most likely, #2 in race to London, if he can get close to his 2013 form, he might as well finish the year as #1. If you think it is a long shot, think again.

Few weeks ago “some” posters were making a fun of Rafa for being #20+ in race to London, how the things change quickly, no?


Humble Rafa Says:

These paninis don’t bother me anymore. I can handle them just like 4 years ago. You give me a panini, I give you a bagel or a breadstick depending on how I feel that day.


Daniel Says:

Wog Boy,

This is also Nadal’s 8 tournament, I think none played more tourneys than him this year. So this has to count in the race. And the #2 to #10 in the race is not much different. We can better access after RG when half the season wold have taken place.


Wog Boy Says:

Daniel,

But how many finals did Rafa made in those 8 tournaments, he really didn’t play that much tennis as it sounds when we mention 8 tournaments. He might as well end up #1 in race to London after FO and that can give him extra confidence and determination to carry it through the rest of the year, you never know with Rafa..and uncle Toni..


Wog Boy Says:

Just for comparison:

Nole played 6 tournaments and DC, altogether 30 matches so far this year.

Nadal playing 8 tournaments, altogether 25 matches so far this year, even if he wins Barcelona that’ll be 28 matches.

Who is more rested? It can be deceiving if you look only at number of tournaments played.


Dave Says:

Wog Boy,

Rafa is going to have to do more than win 1 masters 1000 title on clay to be back at 2013 form. He still doesn’t look even close to 2013 form. Not only that, but Nole is a much better player than when they played against each other and Nole lost the match that really decided who would end the year at number 1, the U.S. Open final. I think Rafa will finish the year at number 2. That won’t surprise me in the least. Number 1 would be the biggest surprise for me. Rafa hasn’t beaten Nole in almost 2 years. He hasn’t even taken a set off of him. Rafa can beat anyone else on the tour on any given day, even now. I will give him that. But he has to figure out a way to beat Nole now before we can even talk about him going back to number 1.


Wog Boy Says:

Dave,

You are not wrong about what you said, but the wuestion is whether Nole can sustain such a high level for such a long time? If you asked me, his level already dropped, but he managed somehow to win IW and Miami and then just didn’t turn up in Monte Carlo. If you watch carefully IW match between Nole and Rafa, Rafa wasn’t far off and he knows that and uncle Toni knows that. They will jump on Nole if he only deeps little bit more and this is the time for “narcissistic” Boris to earn his money, I believe Boris will deliver it, at the end of the day he is street fighter same as Nole, sometimes I believe that Boris is Serbian;) He spent to much time with his best mate at the time, Boba Zivojinovic, partying in Belgrade and chasing sheilas:)


jane Says:

wog boy @ 12:28 – good point
i never count out rafa, especially during clay season


J-Kath Says:

http://www.tennisworldusa.org/Roger-Federer-opens-the-street-named-after-him-in-Biel-%28PICS-INSIDE%29-articolo32090.html

Hope Rafa fans OK with a transplant from Roger. Gosh he is so like his father….these pics. are good. But a couple of later pics Roger doesn’t look all that well….maybe I need new glassed.


J-Kath Says:

…glasses….


Pauly Says:

Dave

Djokovic isn’t unbeatable no one is !
Nadal can beat Djokovic if he can play his best
If ? He isn’t playing like 2013 hardcourt season form if he was playing that well … He’d beat Djokovic
However it’s fognini that Nadal must beat


Green Lady Says:

The thing that gets irritating for me, is the commies that bring up, how Nole lost early, how Andy, Stan, Roger were not at their bests etc, as if this somehow makes Rafas MC title less legit ? ….


Dave Says:

He’d be able to maybe beat Nole on Clay. Hardcourt would be a different story. Nole is better than he was in 2013, even on a bad day at this point. His game is better than it used to be. Anyways, I don’t think there is any way that Nadal can get to 2013 form again because his movement isn’t the same. He looked a lot different movement wise at 27 years old than he does at 30. He can’t recover that lost movement. His style has finally started to take it’s tole on his body.


Green Lady Says:

Right now i think id just be happy to see Rafa putting himself into contention to even play Novak, never mind beat the guy ….


Giles Says:

We’ve been hearing this ” toll” cr@p for the last 7 years.


J-Kath Says:

Wog Boy

I looked at the Year End Singles Race at the beginning of the week and saw that if Nadal did well at Barcelona he would pass Milos and Andy….(shared with Okie). I counted the tournaments each player had but not no. of matches.

Doubt Rafa will be the current No.2 in time for FO – danger is he may wear himself out trying.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Dave, I have a contrarian view. I think Rafa has a better chance beating Novak on hard courts for several reasons.

His dominance on clay was built around speed, and outlasting opponents with never-ending rallies and unmatched consistency with that huge looping topspin. In all three of these areas, Novak is now ahead of him. He cannot make up for that lost step. He is faster than almost anyone on tour, but not Novak. He will not last longer in a moon ball rally than Novak. Furthermore, Novak can absolutely tee off his second serve on clay.

On hard courts, the serve is less of a liability. Watching Rafa in Monte Carlo, I think his shot making has really come back. If not his best level, its pretty darn good.

Look, Novak is 10-1 in the last few years, including a fairly comprehensive win at Rolland Garros. Its a steep hill to climb- as it is for ANYONE on the tour, to beat Novak. But I think that, for the greatest clay court player of all time, there are now too many factors against him on clay against Novak. Now, countering that is that he just understands clay better than anyone else ever has. Still, I think his minuses outweigh the pluses on clay.

Look as well at Rafa vs Andy Murray. Stripped down of bells and whistles, Murray is a poor mans Novak. Rafa and Andy have only played 3 times in the last couple years. The most recent was Monte Carlo, clay, and Andy took the first set then lost. Prior to that was indoors at the WTF. A much faster court. Rafa WHUPPED Andy. And prior to that, Madrid 2015, clay, and Andy won.

Its not much of a trend, only one non-clay match, but I think its a clue as to Rafa’s chances against a super-fast, super-fit, excellent returner who thinks defense first.


Wog Boy Says:

JK,

I missed your previous post about Rafa and race to London. I was just curious to find out where he stands in that race and was surprised how actually he is doing well considering that he basically doesn’t have GS points (just a few), he bombed out in the first round. As for the rest of CC season we have to wait and see. Todays match he’ll beat Fognini in strights, I don’t even have to watch, and I won’t, it’s a bed time, too tired.


elina Says:

You guys, Wog Boy has nailed it yet again! True Nole fan but obvious true tennis fan unblinded by fan bias.

With a win today, Rafa is No. 2 in the Race to London even though Daniel tries to discount this achievement by saying Nadal has played more when Woggers proves to be inaccurate wishful bias.

But then again, what did Daniel say the other day? Oh yes. Here it is…

“The rest is just noise as some dislike a few, some will protect their favorite regardless, and use the easy way answer: If you don’t like may player anything you say is discredit; but this is a two way street because anything said by the ones who blind defend one said is discredit as well. So…”

Sooo… blind noise it is indeed.

Thank you Danny!


Daniel Says:

elina,

One thing is counting Nadal to be #2 in race during clay season (he was #1 by the time in almost all last 10 years), which he very well end up as, specially qhen this is already his 4th clay tournament (2 SA 500 and 250; 1 Maters and this 500), another thing is to future sees him as #1 when he had only won 1 big tournament in the last 2 years. And that is, the least prestigious Masters. Uou can even place Laris Bercy along with MC as some players are spent by than and don’t play.

Even if he ends up #2 afterr this week Nole is doubt points agead and he will go deeps in all remaining clay tourneys, Madrid, Rome and RG. Vert few can beat him there and what happened in MC was an anomaly as first match on clay since RG 2015. To me is juts hyperbole.

I agree Nadal is favorite today veraus Foggy but would you guys be that surprised if Fognini indeed beat him yet again?! I wouldn’t, Foggy got 3 out of 5 last year, 2 on clay. And untill Nadal geta hos consistency back (he doesn’t even have tonplay stellar) just win regularly and get deep into tournaments, than maybe I will start couting him back.

So far, just 1 tourney and 2 peace of cake rounds in Barcelona as expected for #1 seed.


skeezer Says:

Thank you Daniel, you nailed it again!


Giles Says:

Poor fed has been trying to win the least prestigious Masters (Monte Carlo) for years. Still no joy! Joker too tried for years till he eventually won.
πŸ€‘πŸ€‘πŸ€‘πŸ€‘


elina Says:

Daniel nailed it when he described his own noisy bias.

Daniel backtracking and moving the goal post.

Methinks he doth protest too much (but he’s right about the noise).


Daniel Says:

Sometimes you can’t have an adult discussion here. 1 tournament is not indication to be #1, this is clay, where Nadal is suppose to deliver. If he again didn’t do any damage this clay season than his career would pretty much be over, just going with the motions.


ertorque Says:

Fognini is up a break in the second set. He is such a great shot maker. He hits kinda flat and risky but boy can he pummel shots off both wings. A real joy to watch…………


Daniel Says:

In the mean time, Nadal was in control of the match, 2-0 second set until Foggy wins 3 games in a row, but is facing BP now serving to go up 4-2


Daniel Says:

Fognini to serve for the second set.


FedExpress Says:

and some thought rafa is back

he was lucky to win last week. kudos for that.


Daniel Says:

And Nadal breaks back after Fognini having 30-15


Daniel Says:

Foggy has to serve to force a breaker and stay alive


SG1 Says:

I tend to buy into TV’s post at 9:59AM. Guys like Novak and Roger have a tougher time playing Rafa on clay when the conditions are hot and dry (quicker conditions). I remember when it rained during the RG final between Rafa and Novak a few years ago. In the period when the court was wet and really slow, Novak basically took it to Rafa.

I do tend to believe that Rafa may have a better chance against Novak on a hard court. One thing’s for sure. It’s the RG final everyone wants.


SG1 Says:

…well almost everyone :)


Daniel Says:

Nadal wins but Fognini again showed that he can compete with him, even on clay.

But Nadal has to be happy woth his mental state, 2 points away from losing second set and ge still come up on top, only doing great for his confidence. Final agisnt Kei could be a cracker.


Giles Says:

Poor panini!!
Vamos Rafa!
πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸΏ


Giles Says:

Daniel. Nuff of your cr@p!!


J-Kath Says:

Yep Wogboy

Was also surprised/
Have a good rest.


Pauly Says:

Nadal so many break points yet converted so little
He has big trouble with the Foggi still no matter how he plays
Foggi is very good clay court player who has never been able to prove it due mostly to mental part of his game
Nadal vs nishikori surely in the final


Pauly Says:

GILES

You must be happy but trust me your idol isn’t as good anymore … He needs new legs to beat Djokovic


Giles Says:

Zozza. My idol is doing just fine, don’t you worry too much. As long as he’s happy and healthy that’s all that matters. His achievements are envied by many. Nothing left to prove . It’s all good.
Vamos Rafa!
πŸ‘πŸ€‘ βž• βž• πŸ‘πŸΏπŸ‘πŸΏπŸ‘πŸΏπŸ‘πŸΏπŸ‘πŸΏπŸ‘πŸΏ


elina Says:

Giles nailed it. Shamooooooon! Preach it.


Daniel Says:

Nadal can’t jump to #4 even if he wins Barcelona as he has 180 sots from his worst ATP 500 to drop of, so he can max gain 320 pts. That would put him pretty close to Wawa, but Wawa is defending only 90 (R16 in Madrid) + 360 (Semis in Rome) = 450 while Nadal defends 600 (finals in Madrid) and 180 (quarters in Rome) = 780 pts.

So for Rafa to get #4 ranking before RG he will need to make at least 500 pts more than Wawa.

But winning Barca put him in contention for #4 seed.


Humble Rafa Says:

Good to know that a certain arrogant someone has accomplished enough to have a small street named after him. The road is very unforgiving. Just a warning.

Note to self- set higher standards. eg. name a country after yourself, not some stupid street.


J-Kath Says:

Humble Rafa

It’s now two streets
PS: Perhaps they both have cul-de-sacs?


ABerg Says:

Glad to see Rafa playing at this level. He did not really take a break since USO, hopefully he does not burn out.


J-Kath Says:

Daniel Nadal can jump to No. 2 if he continues to do well at Barcelona, i.e. End of Year Singles!!!

NB: Andy re-considering playing Davis Cup as it is on clay.


J-Kath Says:

Humble Rafa: You are challenging fate, mate!


Pauly Says:

GILES

Your idol only won Coz Foggy made too many unforced … Let’s see your idol beat nishikori first before Djokovic has fun with him
I see you’re still suffering from paranoia ZOZZA ?
Who’s that’s your gf or boyfriend ?


Pauly Says:

Nishikori will win Barcelona on current form
Nadal will struggle to beat him here
Foggy unforced errors was the only difference in the match
Nadal did nothing special his usual defence game
Offensive tennis is needed by Nadal not only defensive
GILES yes dummy Nadal has proved he was best clay courter of all time but wouldn’t a second coming be nice ?
Before he finally closes shop on his career … That’s what pure tennis fans want


Wog Boy Says:

JK,

Actually I think HR is not that far off the mark since Roger mother is from SAR, I am sure they can find small part or province in SAR and name after him, or just name it “Goatland”, everybody will know, later they can built shrine for worshiping too, but they have to keep it lion free, lions love goats, particularly two named Rafa and Nole.

Disclaimer, this is not, by any means, aimed at SAR people.


Daniel Says:

#2 at the race npw doesn’t mean much, Monfils is fifth, does anyone really thinks he will fonish the year top 8?!

For Nadal getting #4 seed for RG would mean more. 50% of chance not landing in Djoko’s sode. Acrually if he is #5 os the same 50% chamce but he may end up having tomeo play one of the pther top 4 in Quarters and even Djoko there as last year.

He has to win Barca to have a chance -and hope to do vetter than Wawa remaining 2 tourneys. If he doesn’t win Barca, pretty much small chance for #4 seed pre RG.


elina Says:

Someone must be a serious closet fan to write so much noise about a single player obsessively running the permutations for RG.

Quite telling. Does he ever write about his claimed favourite anymore? Is He forgotten so soon?


Daniel Says:

My favorites are not playing this week.

Someone must be a serious closet Daniel lover to write so much about what I write and go after my posts again and again, quite telling about her no?! Does she ever write about her favorite or tennis ever? If she does like the sport or have a favorite at all!


skeezer Says:

Her fav (she claims) is “No stamina Monfils”, but everyone knows its the Guy who has claimed ‘”mental injury” for his losses.


skeezer Says:

When a poster thinks HR is “not far off”, well it speaks for itself about himself.


Pauly Says:

Nadal gets better with every game he wins … So getting Djokovic later would give him much better chance in that match up
Nadal can’t do much better than 4th seed at French no Matter what he does from now on
Playing Djokovic in the final of Paris would give him his best Chance of victory
Time will tell still hoping for number 10


Wog Boy Says:

“When a poster thinks HR is β€œnot far off”, well it speaks for itself about himself.”

And the point is..?
Come on Mr The Keeper, you can do better than that.


Wog Boy Says:

Rafa will be top4 by the time FO comes.


Van Persie Says:

agree with that WB. I would like to see a Nole-Rafa match before the FO


Margot Says:

@Kath
http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/apr/22/andy-murray-davis-cup-great-britain-serbia-quarter-final-clay

Hope he doesn’t! For goodness sake he’s done enough. Of course without him the team will sink to ground zero, as Bedene has again been refused permission to play.
British tennis is in an awful state,


Green Lady Says:

elina and Skeezer remind me of Rachel and Ross in Friends,” We were on a Break”!,” No we werent”! lol ….


J-Kath Says:

Margot

Bedene isn’t improving much at the moment. Edmund has more potential,..I think…. There’s another article where Andy says he’d like to play but he has to see what his body thinks…….

Nole has indicated that he is unlikely to play. I think if both Nole and Andy withdraw the result would be a fair reflection of both countries anyway.

Apart from Victor T. who else does Serbia have? Edmund on a good day could beat him.


Jun Says:

Congrats to Rafa and Kei. Hope are both good physically for the final, and that both bring it. Hope for a cracker!


Jun Says:

least prestigious masters? As BB said, that’s direspectful. It’s a masters tournament, with possibly the most scenic surroundings in all of tennis. Top players come back year after year, even with very little chance of winning it (because of Rafa). It deserves its masters level designation.


Wog Boy Says:

“with possibly the most scenic surroundings in all of tennis.”

I would say it is the most scenic surrounding, I can’t think of any other tournaments which can come even close. As for other part of you post, “least prestigious ” part, of course it is..since certain one has never managed to win it..after how many tries, thirteen..his first MC tournament was before Rafa was born;)
Can you imagine Nole fans calling Cincinnati least prestigious, just not happening, we are not sore losers..


Jun Says:

Oh I see.

Some people on here have Novak as ‘favorite’, but not because of Novak himself, but because of how he ended and continue to stop Rafa’s march closer to ??. I am getting it, albeit slowly. LOL.

But now that Novak is making noise for himself… hmmm.

Fake-ry sounds like a good form of flattery.


Wog Boy Says:

Let me have a wild guess, Rome is second least prestigious masters tournament..?


Jun Says:

Is Cincy Masters the most prestigious of them all??? It’s gotta be. It’s the one closest to my location!

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