Fabio Fognini over the moon after beating defending champ Nadal in Rio Open
Rio de Janeiro: After 52 straight semi-final claycourt wins stretching back 12 years, top seeded titleholder Rafael Nadal saw his streak end on Saturday, exiting the Rio Open to Italian Fabio Fognini.
Fabio Fognini celebrates his win over Rafael Nadal. Pics/Getty Images
Fognini, who had lost his four previous meetings with the 14-time grand slam champion, won 1-6, 6-2, 7-5 to reach a final against Spaniard David Ferrer.
Second seed Ferrer reached the trophy match with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer.
Lack of tactics
"I played well in the first set but lacked tactical and physical continuity thereafter," said Nadal.
Rafael Nadal leaves the court after the defeat
"I am very pleased as I played the best in the world on this surface. This is my best career win to date," said 28th-ranked Fognini, seeded four at the event whose inaugural edition Nadal won last year.