World No. 10 Rafael Nadal may not be back to his blistering best, but he is certainly on his way back to the top.Having already lost to 32nd-ranked Fabio Fognini twice this year, including the major upset in the Rio Open in February (when Fognini won 7-5 in the third to break the Spaniard’s astonishing 52-match unbeaten run in clay-court semi-finals), many tennis betting fans expected the Italian to upset the odds once again when the two foes clashed on the red dirt in the Hamburg Open Finals on August 2nd.But Rafa had other ideas, putting a championship-worthy performance to claim this third title of the year. The win was however far from an easy one, as Fognini rallied back in the second (after Nadal had won the first set), forcing the nine-time French Open champion to save two set points before claiming a hard-earned 7-5 7-5 win.Mark Petchey on Nadal’s recent tough win. “If you wipe the floor with someone it’s great but it’s also important to tough out a difficult match.”Petchey additionally said, “If you choose to see the glass as half empty, you could say Rafa is still fragile and should have coasted. My attitude is that he got through a tough set which was easy to lose.”Rafael Nadal needs a lot of preparations and has a lot of bumps to flatten, as he seeks to get ready for the US Open. Beating Fognini and a couple of players before the US Open will especially be important in getting his confidence levels up, preparing him mentally for the usual juggernauts in the US Open. It is a tall order from here onwards, and with the tasks at hand, it won’t be easy, but knowing Rafa and his knack for offering pleasant surprises, it wouldn’t be a shocker if he pulled out another rabbit out of his laden bag of Tennis skills.Sources:Twitter.com (https://twitter.com/markpetchey)Wikipedia.org (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rafael_Nadal)
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