Nadal Loses but so What
Nadal lost to Fabio Fognini in the Semis of Monte Carlo.
However, make no mistake, Nadal will tear up the Clay court season again. Yes, here we go again folks. We are about to head deep into the clay court season, where Nadal becomes Nadal. Every year it seems there’s questions about Nadal’s fitness as we head into the season, and every season he cleans up. So, even though Nadal has been nursing an injury, let’s refrain talking about the “what ifs” of his injury.
Let’s just admit that it makes no difference what we analyze and just agree that he’s going to clean up. Just like he always does. So, don’t let the Fognini slip fool you. Fognini has had Nadal’s number before. He’s beaten him on clay three times. In sum, this is no surprise. Let’s just look at the facts of Nadal on clay the last few years.
He will head into Barcelona next week where he is the defending champion and has won the event 11 times. Then he will head to Madrid where he’s won the title five times. After Madrid he will go into the Italian Open, where he’s held that title eight times, before heading to Roland Garros where he’s won an unprecedented 11 titles. That’s a heck of a record on the clay court swing.
On the other hand, Fognini ended up winning Monte Carlo, and it is the biggest win of his career. He looks pretty much like a contender heading into Roland Garros. Wouldn’t it be really cool if Fognini, husband of another great Italian player, Flavia Pennetta, who won the US Open in 2015, won the French Open? Monte Carlo was a tough draw too, as all Masters 1000 tournaments are. He had to beat Zverev, Coric and Nadal just to get into the final. In that final he handily took care of journeyman Serbian Lajovic, just like he was supposed to. In sum, we have Fognini and Nadal looking very good as we head into Roland Garros!