ATP Monte Carlo: Fabio Fognini tops Borna Coric to set Rafael Nadal clash

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ATP Monte Carlo: Fabio Fognini tops Borna Coric to set Rafael Nadal clash

Heading to Monte Carlo with just four ATP wins in 2019, Fabio Fognini stood on the verge of defeat in the opening round against Andrey Rublev before performing a comeback to stay in the tournament. A few days later, Fabio has defeated the 9th seed Borna Coric 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 in just under two hours to book the place in his second Masters 1000 semi-final, the first since Miami two years ago.

Borna won only four points less than Fabio, making a perfect start and losing ground after that, getting broken four times from six chances and scoring three breaks on the other side. Both players had more errors than winners but the Italian did a fine job with a 21-31 ratio, having the edge in both the shortest and more extended rallies for a much-needed triumph and a chance to play against Rafael Nadal for the place in the final.

The Croat broke at love in game two when Fabio netted a backhand and securing another break at 4-1 following a volley error from Fognini. Serving for the set in game seven, Borna delivered nice hold to grab the opener in just 27 minutes and make a big step towards the place in the semis.

Fabio was miles away from at least decent tennis, netting an easy forehand at the beginning of the second set and desperately needing some fuel to end Coric's streak, especially after struggling with a right elbow. Medical timeout helped him to hit better and he pulled the break back in game four, gaining the momentum and breaking Borna once again at 4-3 when the Croat sent a backhand long.

A service winner delivered the set for the Italian in the ninth game and he was the favorite now, earning breaks in the first and fifth games of the decider and fending off three break points at 5-2 before sealing the deal with another good serve to set a thrilling clash against Rafa on Saturday.

Dusan Lajovic will compete in the first Masters 100 semi-final, ousting a qualifier Lorenzo Sonego 6-4, 7-5 in an hour and 47 minutes, saving three out of four break points and stealing Sonego's serve thrice to prevail in straight sets.

Pumped after his triumph over Dominic Thiem, Dusan had the upper hand in the mid-range rallies and saved a set point at 4-5 in set number two, breaking Lorenzo in the next game before sealing the deal on own serve.