Rafael Nadal, the 5th seed in Miami and the world no. 7 took on Jack Sock, the no.1 American in men's Tennis in what should have been a difficult task. Sock who saw his game improving constantly in 2017 failed to maintain the previous rounds' pace and Nadal took fully advantage dispatching the 24-year-old in straight sets. It's rather surprising to see Nadal scrambling on the outdoor hard just before the European clay swing, a part of the season in which Nadal is expected to make some damage. But Miami is one of the places where he is yet to prevail, so this particular edition might be one with a special meaning.

Nadal ousts Sock, sets clash with Fognini

On the bottom half of the draw, the event's unfolding delivered some unexpected survivors. If Nadal's run is not such a big surprise, the other semifinalist of this part of the draw definitely is. Fabio Fognini, a 29-year-old Italian ranked 40th in the world sidelined Kei Nishikori, last year's runner-up in two sets. Nishikori, who has been struggling with an injury during the tournament couldn't hold off the Italian on his way to his best outcome in Miami. As a matter of fact, Fognini has reached a Masters 1000' semi just for the 2nd time in his career. His first result of this kind occurred back in 2013 in Monte Carlo. With Nishikori out of the picture, Nadal is seeing his chances soaring in what might end up being his maiden triumph at Key Biscayne in Miami.

Having some 10 matches of shared history, Nadal leads Fognini by 7-3 overall. Even so, Fognini put in some big tennis against Nadal over the years. His last success over the Spaniard took place back in 2015 in US Open's round of 32. It was an outcome no one predicted especially with Nadal leading by 2 sets.

The Italian bounced back to win the next 3 acts in what was one of the biggest upsets in US Open's history.

Nadal could face Federer in the final

If things will move as predicted based upon ranking and latest results, Nadal should win against Fognini. On the upper half of the board, Federer is making another glorious run.

Without dropping a set, the Swiss will face Tomas Berdych for a spot in the semis where Kyrgios or Zverev will emerge on the opposite side. The odds of having another Federer vs Nadal encounter are on some valid territory. It would be their 3rd clash in the last 2 months after the previous ones from the Australian Open and Indian Wells.

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