MONACO — Fabio Fognini ended Rafael Nadal’s lengthy successful streak on the Monte Carlo Masters, beautiful him, 6-Four, 6-2, Saturday to achieve the ultimate for the primary time and hand Nadal his first defeat right here since 2015.

Fognini, the 13th-seeded Italian, had crushed Nadal twice earlier than on clay, and likewise as soon as at america Open in 5 units, however this was arguably probably the most spectacular victory.

Not for the reason that 2005 last, a five-setter which Nadal received in 4 units, had the 11-time champion Nadal been crushed, 6-Zero, in a set right here. And Fognini got here so near doing simply that.

He served for the match at 5-Zero and 40-Zero, however Nadal saved three match factors — and a few delight — by breaking again after which holding.

Serving once more for the match at 5-2, Fognini hit an excellent forehand down the road to clinch victory on his fourth match level.

Nadal’s final defeat right here was additionally within the semifinals, in opposition to Novak Djokovic in 2015. He had not misplaced a set on the clay-court match since conceding one within the second spherical in opposition to Britain’s Kyle Edmund in 2017.

Fognini subsequent performs the unseeded Serb Dusan Lajovic of their first assembly, and one few would have predicted occurring right here.

The 48th-ranked Lajovic earlier staged a exceptional comeback from 5-1 all the way down to beat 10th-seeded Daniil Medvedev, 7-5, 6-1.

Lajovic received 10 straight video games to open up a Four-Zero lead within the second set earlier than Medvedev lastly held serve. However after saving one match level, the Russian participant tamely hit a return lengthy on his opponent’s subsequent alternative.

It might have been an all-Serb semifinal, however Medvedev knocked out the top-ranked Djokovic in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Saturday’s match began in troublesome circumstances, with a heavy wind coming in from the Mediterranean. Lajovic clinched the primary set on serve, with Medvedev fully mistiming the ball and sending it skyward.

The 28-year-old Lajovic was ailing earlier than the match and stated he wanted antibiotics to get better. He struggled to explain his shock run.

“Unimaginable. Unreal,” he stated, earlier than deciding on: “It’s been an awesome week.”


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