(AFP) Rafael Nadal reached the China Open final with a 7-5 6-3 win over Fabio Fognini in Beijing.
On a chilly, breezy day, both players started unconvincingly, suffering two breaks of serve each in the opening games with Rafa also sending down three double-faults. They steadied to take it to 6-5 for Rafa but Fognini wobbled as he served to stay in the set, wilting in the rallies as he finally gave up the decisive break and smashed the ball into the stands in anger.
The second set was attritional until Rafa leapt ahead with a break for 4-2, and the suddenly invigorated Spaniard won the next game to love to stand on the brink of victory. Fognini saved two match points before holding serve in a gripping eighth game, but by now the Rafa juggernaut was fully in motion and he ploughed across the line in the next game.
In Sunday’s final, Nadal will be seeking his fourth trophy of a season.
Source: Agence France-Presse
Congratulations Rafa: It was no suprise that you were victorious in your semifinal against Fabio. So proud of you. As always, I wish you health, positive attitude, self belief, calmness, and intensity – and the best of luck in the final tomorrow. God bless you Rafa. I love you, Marylynn
All congrats to King Rafa as he has really surprised everybody!!!
A lot of people including my cousin, Deep Thinker, had written him off, but alas Rafa has proven to be the resilient Bull that he is!
The bits and pieces of his game are fast coming back – the serve, the touch line winners and above all, his unrivaled consistency. 6 or 7 months ago, a Rafa, after overcoming Jack Sock, would have been unable to maintain the tempo/consistency against the very tricky Fognini. He will surely need such consistent tempo to prevail against Novak tomorrow.
That Rafa has managed to reach the finals against all odds is more than enough victory!
To now expect him to beat the Djoker (who has not dropped a set thus far) will be asking for too much. Even Deep Thinker (away on vacation in Hawaii Islands) will not agree that Rafa will prevail tomorrow.
As it is, Great Thinker predicts that Novak will prevail in straight sets: 6-4, 6-4.
Congratulation Rafa, you are the best for me, mantente tranquilo, seguro mentalmente, Vamos Rafa
GOOD LUCK FOR SUNDAY .RAFA. GO FOR IT XXX
Vamos Rafa! Btw, who does he play in finals? Not mentioned anywhere 🙁
Where’s jbeer ? Oh right Rafa didn’t lose.
Wanna bet he’ll be the first one to reply as soon as Rafa loses the final ?
Vamos Rafa! So happy for you. It looks like that Rafa has find the way to his best again. He got better in every match in Peking. That’s very good. Now (for sure ) against Nole. Fight as always Rafa and than we will see what happens. Proud of you. Vamos Rafa <3 <3 <3
Vamos Rafa! You have worked so hard and deserve your place in the final. Good luck for the final tomorrow! Our great Champ!
Satisfying win over Fognini; hope it begins an upward trend. We are confident
Rafael is just as hungry as we are for a win in the final!!!
Wonderful match rafa , it was not about rivalary against fabio but u beat a player who was playing really good (beaten goffin) and was up a task in this match also..
Again it was so reliving to see ur large percentage of shots was pushing forwad of that service box area ….keep doing it consitently
Just enjoy u r win today
Agianst novak dont look it as final treat as another match in ur build up …win or loose both results matter in ur upcoming performances
Keep working on same line
U r forehand down the line will soon come
Just need to work on setting it up
It is such pleasure to watch u rafa
Best luck rafa
Where is deep thinker
At start of tournamet he commented that rafa will loose in quarter/ not make semifinal to avoid djokovic
And now Rafa is already waiting for his opponent in finals
So deep thinker keep deep thinking but please not on future of rafa
V just love him
ps: love the photos ……VAMOS!!!!!!!!!! Many thanks to all the kind folks who post the video clips & photos : ) …….. & congratulations again dear Rafa on your beautiful victory!!!!! : ) : ) : ) Very happy for you!!!!!! : ) : ) & very happy for your wonderful team!!!!!! : ) : )
Missed the game, I was abit caught up bt according to the comments, I guess he played the game of the tournament, hopefully he goes all way & wins it all tomorrow!!! Vamos Rafa! !!
Awesome near perfect 2nd set. Nice aggressive play. He was even stepping in on second serve returns :). Did not wait for Fognini to make the error. Deep aggressive ground strokes. Very heartening to see. Few aces down the T as well. Only wish he would start out of the gates better. The first set could have gone either way. Just that Fognini played worse in set 1 and lost his head in the crucial 12th game. Good luck for the finals. Vamos.
I stayed up super late to watch this match and it was so worth it.
Great victory in straight sets for Rafa against Fabio! Rafa had all the answers.
Into another final. How great is that! Moving on up! Way to go!