Fabio Fognini defeated Rafael Nadal 6-4 7-6 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell where he will face Pablo Andujar, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over fifth seed Feliciano Lopez.
Fognini had also beaten Nadal in the Rio de Janeiro semi-finals in February.
The Italian continually pressed for a break in the opener. Although he overcooked a forehand on his first set point opportunity on Nadal’s serve at 4-5, 30/40, he clinched his second chance with a forehand volley winner. It silenced the crowd.
There were three breaks of serve in the first four games of the second set, which saw Nadal take a 3-1 lead. But Fognini maintained his composure to fight back. He took a 6/3 lead in the tie-break, but Nadal recovered to 6/6 before mis-timing a forehand to gift his opponent a fourth match point.