Rafael Nadal: I played one of my worst matches on clay at Monte-Carlo Masters
"I probably played one of the worst matches on clay in 14 years"
Last Updated: 21/04/19 1:21pm
Rafael Nadal said he produced one of the worst clay-court performances of his career after crashing to a shock defeat to Fabio Fognini at the Monte-Carlo Masters.
The 11-times champion was beaten 6-4 6-2 in the semi-finals on Saturday and gave a blunt assessment of his performance after Fognini wrapped up victory in one hour and 36 minutes.
Nadal said: "I probably played one of the worst matches on clay in 14 years.
"When that happens, you have to lose. And today I deserved to lose because I played against a player who was better than me today."
From trailing 3-1 in the first set, world No 18 Fognini won 11 of the next 14 games to claim a career-best victory and his fourth victory in 15 career meetings with the Spaniard.
And his win was all the more remarkable given he entered the tournament in poor form having gone out early at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech and had trailed his first-round opponent Andrey Rublev 6-4 4-1 before rallying for victory.
"If you told me at the beginning of the week I will see you on Sunday, I would have laughed in your face," said Fognini.
"Sometimes I won a few matches [against him] - one crazy one at the US Open and two times on clay.
"So I knew I had nothing to lose, because of course, especially when you're with him on clay, it's always really tough."
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