Rafael Nadal’s clay semi-final winning streak ended by Fabio Fognini

Rafael Nadal loses in three sets to Fabio Fognini in the semi-finals of the Rio Open in Brazil

Fabio Fognini ended Rafael Nadal’s 52-game winning streak in tour-level semi-finals on clay at the Rio Open on Saturday, beating the defending champion 1-6, 6-2, 7-5.

The Italian triumphed over the Spaniard to hand Nadal only his 25th defeat on the surface to reach Sunday’s final, where he will face David Ferrer.

“I’m really happy about this match,” said Fognini. “I beat the best player on this surface.

“Rafa is always difficult. From the second set I played really well, and I tried to change a little bit to be more positive on court.

“Right now I’m thinking in the now; that I’ve beaten Rafa.

“I’m super happy, and obviously tomorrow I will have to battle David, who has always beaten me… I will obviously be happy if I win. If I lose, I will also leave with the good memories from this week in Rio.”

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