Updated 11:58 PM EDT, Sun, May 31, 2020

Rafael Nadal News: 'King of Clay' Suffers Rio Open Defeat to Fabio Fognini

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Rafael Nadal lost to Fabio Fognini in the semi-finals of the Rio Open held on Saturday evening.

According to BBC Sport, the Spanish professional tennis player was beaten 1-6 6-2 7-5 in two hours and 17 minutes by his Italian opponent.

"I'm really happy about this match. I beat the best player on this surface," Fognini said, as quoted by BBC Sport.

Fognini added, "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. I'm super happy, and obviously on Sunday I will have to battle David, who has always beaten me."

But it was Spanish professional tennis player David Ferrer who won the Rio Open finals match against Fognini on Sunday, with a record 6-2 6-3 victory, a separate report by BBC Sport said.

Nadal played three tournaments this year without reaching a final, Fox News Latino reported. The outlet detailed that he lost in "the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, was beaten in the first round of the Qatar Open, and is now out of Rio, on his preferred clay surface, in a tournament he won last year." Nadal won on clay in Chile on the Latin American swing two years ago.

Before facing Fognini, the Spaniard triumphed over Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas in the quarter final game on Saturday morning, BBC Sport noted. It was Fognini's first win in five matches against Nadal.

Fox News Latino added that the Italian won the match by "scrambling to the net and scooping a ball -- that had nipped the cord -- back across for the winner." Nadal won the first set easily but wasn't able to land victorious in the later sets.

Nadal said that his weight hasn't changed in the last six years -- between 85-86.5 kilos (188-190 pounds) - but Fox News Latino noted that the athlete appeared "much slimmer." He also added that "there are no changes" in his life and match preparation.

"I feel my tennis close, closer than a month ago, to the level that I want to arrive again," Nadal said, as reported by BBC Sport. "The truth is that I lack physical continuity. I can't understand why, but I wasn't in good shape since the second set. I am getting tired earlier than usual and I had some cramps in several parts of my body. It's odd because in all my career I have hardly had cramp problems."

According to Fox News Latino, Nadal will play next week in Buenos Aires in hopes to rebound on the French Open which is three months away. The 28-year-old tennis player also confirmed he would return next year for Rio Oympics.

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