Tennis  

Fognini, Lajovic for finals of Monte Carlo

taly’s Fabio Fognini (R) shakes hands with Spain’s Rafael Nadal after he won the semi final tennis match of the Monte-Carlo ATP Masters Series tournament in Monaco on April 20, 2019. VALERY HACHE / AFP

Rafael Nadal of Spain lost his bid for a 12th title in Monte Carlo in a stunning 6/4; 6/2 upset by Italy’s Fabio Fognini, who reached the first Masters 1000 final of his career.

Earlier, Dusan Lajovic of Serbia defeated Russia’s Daniil Medvedev 7/5; 6/1 in 93 minutes to avenge the stunning upset of his compatriot and world number one, Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

Dusan Lajovic from Belgrade came to Monte Carlo rankled 48 in the world and with a 2019 tally of six wins and nine losses. In his career, he had won 105 matches and lost 132. After a 6/4; 6/4 victory over Tunisia’s Jaziri in the first round, he defeated Belgium’s David Goffin, then fourth-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria and Italy’s Leonardo Sonego 6/4; 7/5 in the quarter-finals.

In the epic semi-final match, he was down 1-5 but won 10 games in a row to take the first set and lead in the second. In the entire match, he won six of twelve break points. He has not lost a set in the tournament.

Fabio Fognini started the tournament ranked 13 in the world and had lost 11 previous career matches to Nadal while winning only three. This time, he halted Nadal’s streak of 18 matches in Monaco and shattered his bid for a 12th title.

The Italian show man commenced his march by surviving Russia’s qualifier 4/6; 7/5; 6/4 in the first round, followed by a walk-over Gilles Simon, an upset over third seeded Alexander Zverev, and a 1/6; 6/3; 6/2 victory over Borna Tomic of Croatia in the quarter-finals.

In the semi-final match, he rallied from 1-3 in the first set and proceeded to win 11 out of 14 games

Fognini and Lajovic will be meeting for the first time as each seeks the first Masters 1000 title and a place in history.

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