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Fabio Fognini upsets Kei Nishikori, will face Rafael Nadal in Miami Open semis

By The Sports Xchange
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Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a backhand to Fabio Fognini of Italy in their 3rd round match on day five at the US Open Tennis Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City on September 4, 2015. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a backhand to Fabio Fognini of Italy in their 3rd round match on day five at the US Open Tennis Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City on September 4, 2015. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Fifth-seeded Rafael Nadal of Spain advanced to the semifinals of the Miami Open Wednesday night with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over No. 13 Jack Sock of the United States.

Nadal, seeking his first title in Miami after finishing runner-up there on four occasions, rallied from a break down in the second set and will play Fabio Fognini of Italy for a spot in Sunday's final.

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Fognini upset second-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan, 6-4, 6-2.

Ranked 40th in the world, Fognini advanced to just his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semifinal and first since 2013 in Monte Carlo. It was also his first win in three matches versus Nishikori.

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"At the moment, I'm just happy. Of course this is a big, big tournament for me. I'm feeling really good on court and other times, so this is the best thing that I can have this week," said Fognini. "I'm happy about my performance. Of course, the result is positive. It's like a dream maybe. I'm just trying to be focused on my game and do my best."

Fognini, 29, became the first Italian to reach the Miami semifinals in tournament history. He stumbled briefly late in each set, being broken as he served for the opener at 5-3 and again when serving for the match at 5-1 in the second set, but on both occasions broke Nishikori in the following game.

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The right-hander will bid to reach his first Masters 1000 final when he faces Nadal

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Nishikori had won 15 of his past 17 matches in Miami coming into the quarterfinals.

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