Who is Fabio Fognini, Rafael Nadal's next opponent? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
While much more attention has been understandably showered on Serena Williams at this U.S. Open, one of tennis' other all-time greats is on his own quest in Flushing Meadows. Rafael Nadal, already the male player with the most Grand Slams, could match Williams' Open Era-record of 23 if he wins the title and Serena doesn't.
But first he'll have to get through his second-round matchup with Fabio Fognini on Thursday night. Nadal and Fognini will face off after Serena and Venus Williams' doubles match that begins at 7 p.m. ET in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Here's everything you need to know about the Italian veteran.
Who is Fabio Fognini?
Like Nadal, Fabio Fognini is a veteran of the ATP tour whose best surface is clay. All six of the titles he's won have been on clay, most recently the 2019 ATP Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo, Monaco, which is also the last time he beat Nadal.
Fognini, 35, has an overall record of 402-357. He has earned $17.28 million in his career since turning pro in 2004.
What is Fabio Fognini's ranking?
Fognini, a former top 10 player in 2019, is currently ranked No. 60 on the ATP Tour. In this year's Grand Slams, he lost in the second round of the Australian Open, the third round of the French Open and the first round of Wimbledon.
Fognini is also a good doubles player, currently ranked No. 35. He and his partner, countryman Simone Bolelli, advanced to the second round of the U.S. Open on Wednesday afternoon.
What is Rafael Nadal's record against Fabio Fognini?
Nadal holds a 13-4 edge in the head-to-head against Fognini. They last met in the fourth round of the 2021 Australian Open, a straight-sets win for Nadal.
One of Fognini's wins over Nadal came at the 2015 U.S. Open. He won in five sets in the third round.
Has Fabio Fognini ever won the U.S. Open?
No, the fourth round in 2015 is the best result Fabio Fognini has ever had in the U.S. Open.