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5 Biggest Losses Rafael Nadal Has Suffered on Clay Ft. 2015 Barcelona Open Match vs Fabio Fognini

Tanmay Roy

5 Biggest Losses Rafael Nadal Has Suffered on Clay Ft. 2015 Barcelona Open vs Fabio Fognini

Rafael Nadal was knocked out of the Barcelona Open 2024 on Wednesday, losing to Australia’s Alex de Minaur in straight sets, 5-7, 1-6 in the second round. This was one of Nadal’s biggest losses on clay, a surface he has dominated like no other player in the history of men’s tennis. However, apart from Alex de Minaur, there have been players who have managed to breach Nadal’s clay fortress on some occasions, one of them being Italy’s Fabio Fognini.

Rafael Nadal vs Fabio Fognini, 2015 Barcelona Open

During the 2015 Barcelona Open, Rafael Nadal was aiming to regain his dominance in the tournament by winning his 9th title there. However, Nadal was not in form at all, losing to Italy’s Fabio Fognini 4-6, 6-7 (6-8) in the third round. Before 2024, this was Nadal’s earliest exit from the tournament. Although Nadal fought well to get the 2nd set into a tiebreaker, Fognini was outstanding on the day and was also ranked 7th in the world back then.

Rafael Nadal vs Nicolas Almagro, 2014 Barcelona Open

Rafael Nadal was coming off a hat-trick of title wins in the Barcelona Open 2014, having clinched the title in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively. Not only would have predicted Spain’s Nicolas Almagro to be the man who would end Nadal’s incredible run in the tournament. In the quarterfinals, Nadal was cruising after winning the first set, 6-2. However, Almagro turned the tide in his favor after winning a vital tiebreak, 7-6 (7-5) in the second set. Almagro carried the momentum into the third too, winning 6-4 and ensuring that there would be a new champion in Barcelona.

Rafael Nadal vs Robin Soderling, 2009 French Open

From 2005 to 2022 at the Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal only lost 3 times. His first loss, after he began his winning streak, was in 2009 against Robin Soderling. The Swedish player, who went on to play in the final against Roger Federer, knocked Rafael Nadal out in the fourth round.

Soderling won the first set 6-2 but lost the second one 6-7 (2-7). But Nadal looked completely out of sorts as Soderling won the next two sets, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2). It is still considered as one of the biggest upsets of all time on clay and in men’s tennis in general, owing to Nadal’s dominance on the surface and in the French Open.

Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic, 2015 French Open

After his 2009 loss, the next time Rafael Nadal lost a French Open match was in 2015. It was in the quarter-final against the eventual runner-up Novak Djokovic. In a rare case, Rafael Nadal lost the match in straight sets, 5-7, 3-6, 1-6 against the then World No.1 Djokovic. However, the Serb could not capitalise on such a big win as he lost to Stan Wawrinka in the final.

Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic, 2015 Monte Carlo Masters

2015 was the year of Novak Djokovic. Such was his prowess that he beat everyone everywhere, even Rafael Nadal on clay. Before humbling Nadal at Roland Garros that year, Djokovic had a shot at him in the Monte Carlo Masters, Nadal’s other favorite clay-court tournament.

Nadal, who is an 11-time winner of the Monte Carlo Masters, didn’t stand a chance though against Djokovic in the semi-final. Djokovic won 6-3, 6-3 in straight sets to reach the final. He then beat Tomas Berdych and won his 2nd Monte Carlo title. Novkak Djokovic is one of the 4 players to beat Rafael Nadal in Monte Carlo.

Post Edited By:Dhruv Rupani

About the author

Tanmay Roy

Tanmay Roy


Tanmay Roy is a Tennis Journalist at The SportsRush, whose lifelong passion and zeal for the sport landed him this position. A writer with over 1000 articles under him, Tanmay fell in love with tennis in 2005 when Roger Federer defeated Andy Roddick in the Wimbledon final after a stunning three sets. Tanmay followed the likes of the Big Three - Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal from the mid-noughties to now. His interest was stronger than ever after the wonderful 2009 Wimbledon Final which saw Roger Federer win after a see-saw 5-set match. His favorite female tennis player is Serena Williams and Monica Seles. Tanmay's favorite match-up to date is Roger Federer vs Andy Roddick in the 2000s. If possible, the John Isner vs Nicolas Mahut first round match at the 2010 Wimbledon is the only match Tanmay would love to watch Live by going back in time. Of late, he is a huge fan of Jannik Sinner and believes the youngster has the potential to break every record.

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