ATP MIAMI - Rafael Nadal beats Fabio Fognini in straight sets, reaches his 104th career-final

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ATP MIAMI - Rafael Nadal beats Fabio Fognini in straight sets, reaches his 104th career-final

Rafael Nadal is the first Masters 1000 Miami finalist. The Spaniard player beat for the eighth time on 11 matches played the Italian Fabio Fognini 6-1 7-5 in an hour and a half. Nadal, who had lost to Fognini thrice in 2015, reaches his 104th career-final, the 41th at Masters 1000 level, the fifth in Miami where he never won the title, but this time it seems he can really do it: so far this year he won 19 matches, no one did better than him.

Fognini, who will break into the top 30 again next week (he will be World No. 28, +12 than last week) was playing his second Masters 1000 semifinal in his career after the one lost to Novak Djokovic at the 2013 Monte Carlo event.

Four years ago he had lost to the Serbian player 6-2 6-1, this time it was more or less the same thing at least in the first set, where Nadal won the first six points of the match, while Fognini had a bad start making too many unforced errors (14 on 28 points played), getting broken at love in the fourth game.

Up 4-1, Nadal broke again Fognini, who was up 40-0: from then he started making several unforced errors, the last one at the net hitting a bad smash. The first set ended just after 22 minutes. In the second set Fabio tries everything to compete against Nadal, he saved a break point in the first game and even three in a row in the third game, serving well and taking advantage of some Nadal's unforced errors.

In the eighth game it's Rafa to be at deuce on his serve game, but Fognini won't have any break point as he didn't handle the wind direction well. On 5-5, Fabio was up 30-0, then Nadal won six points in a row to break Fognini and reach his third final this year after the two lost at the Australian Open and Acapulco.

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