Rafael Nadal continues his bid to return to the world No 1 spot with a meeting against Fognini this afternoon.
Having suffered defeat to Dominic Thiem last week at the Madrid Open, subsequently losing his crown to Roger Federer, the Spaniard is eager to add to his array of clay titles.
But his preparations for the French Open will not be made easy by his competitors this week.
Having already seen off Damir Dzumhur and Denis Shapovalov, Nadal comes up against Fognini in the quarter-final expecting a tough test.
The Italian has twice beaten Nadal on clay, once in Rio de Janeiro in 2015 and in Barcelona a few months later, and believes his record and his serving form will make him more than a handful to deal with.
“I have sent [Nadal] packing a few times, making him unhappy,” Fognini said.
“There are few words to describe him on this surface, he is the No 1 in history.
“But I am serving well and for me to have a free point on serve per game means a lot.”
RAFAEL NADAL VS FABIO FOGNINI LIVE UPDATES (*denotes on serve)
*Rafael Nadal 4-1 Fabio Fognini
Fognini has to put a stop to this soon or he could be in trouble. Nadal rattles off three quick points before Fognini responds with three of his own.
A brilliant backhand from deep stuns Nadal to take it to deuce. His efforts are to little avail though as Nadal holds.
Rafael Nadal 3-1 *Fabio Fognini
Nadal wins the first point but Fognini has the crowd on their feet as he responds with a sliced backhand drop shot. Nadal pulls it back to deuce after going 40-15 down.
The Spaniard gets to break point and takes advantage at the first attempt with a sweet forehand into space.
*Rafael Nadal 2-1 Fabio Fognini
Fognini hits the shot of the match so far, a delightful backhand return across court on Nadal’s serve.
Some exceptional movement from the world No 2 gives Fognini no chance in the closing points though.
Rafael Nadal 1-1 *Fabio Fognini
A long rally ends with a Nadal forehand winner to go 15-30 up as the Italian is made to work to get his first points on the board. The home crowd love it though and it’s one a piece.
*Rafael Nadal 1-0 Fabio Fognini
Nadal takes the first point before Fognini responds with a sweet forehand.
Some powerful serving from the Spaniard early on as he holds on the opening game.