Fognini won the most recent encounter in April on the way to winning the Monte-Carlo Masters and he made a fast start in Montreal, breaking Nadal early on.
The opening set was an error-strewn display from Nadal and it cost him as he dropped serve again, allowing Fognini to take a commanding lead and eventually win the set 6-2.
But Nadal, the defending champion, hit back in impressive fashion, breaking Fognini twice to win the second set 6-1 and force a deciding set.
And Nadal’s momentum was unrelenting as he won 11 out of 13 games to lead 5-1 and with Fognini struggling with injury, the top seed safely sealed his place in the last four with a 2-6 6-1 6-2 win.
RAFAEL NADAL VS FABIO FOGNINI AS IT HAPPENED
THIRD SET (*denotes server)
*Nadal 2-6 6-1 6-2 Fognini
Attempted Fognini lob drifts wide, 15-0. Fognini return into the net, 30-0. Nadal forehand long, 30-15. Fognini backhand into the net, two match points.
Fognini forehand wide, GAME. SET. MATCH. NADAL.
Nadal 2-6 6-1 5-2 Fognini*
A final show of resistance from Fognini as he holds with a cheeky drop shot. Nadal to serve for the match next.
*Nadal 2-6 6-1 5-1 Fognini
0-30 as Nadal puts a backhand into the tramlines. Break point Fognini as Nadal makes a rare unforced error. But Nadal strikes again the serve and volley.
And an ace seals another game.
Nadal 2-6 6-1 4-1 Fognini*
Fognini misses with a backhand, break point Nadal. And another unforced error gives Nadal the break and puts him firmly in control.
The body language from Fognini is not looking good.
*Nadal 2-6 6-1 3-1 Fognini
Fognini took a medical time out and received treatment on his foot. But after a five-minute delay, Nadal holds to love impressively.
Nadal 2-6 6-1 2-1 Fognini*
Fognini backhand long, 0-30. He responds with a cheeky drop shot winner then an ace. And the Italian hangs on…for now! Good recovery.
*Nadal 2-6 6-1 2-0 Fognini
Poor Nadal drop shot drifts wide but he responds with another serve and volley winner. Nadal ace, 40-15. And he consolidates the break again.
Fognini has lost eight of the last nine games.
Nadal 2-6 6-1 1-0 Fognini*
Vintage Nadal forehand winner up the line, break point. And it’s an early break for the top seed as Fognini puts a backhand wide.
Nadal is a completely different player to the first set.
*Nadal 2-6 6-1 Fognini
Fognini forehand winner, 30-all. Fognini return error, set point Nadal. And he levels the match when Fognini puts another return long.
Final set shoot-out coming up.
Nadal 2-6 5-1 Fognini*
More problems for Fognini as Nadal creates more break chances for himself. And the Spaniard breaks again.
*Nadal 2-6 4-1 Fognini
Incredible tennis. Point of the tournament. Sensational hustle from Nadal as Fognini drags him all over the court. And Italian finishes with a deft drop shot. Break point.
Saved after Nadal serves and volley and Fognini can’t get his forehand over the net. And Nadal hangs on. Could be a pivotal game.
Nadal 2-6 3-1 Fognini*
Fognini gets back on track with a solid service game.
*Nadal 2-6 3-0 Fognini
Fognini with another forehand winner which Nadal barely moved for, 40-30. But Nadal hangs hold to maintain the break. Topsy-turvy match.
Nadal 2-6 2-0 Fognini*
Chance for Nadal as he gets three break points. Fognini double faults to gift the game to Nadal. Eight points in a row for Nadal.
*Nadal 2-6 1-0 Fognini
Much better from Nadal as he holds to love. Confidence boosting hold.
Nadal 2-6 Fognini*
Fognini ace, 30-15. And he gets two set points when Nadal makes an error on the return.
Brilliant. First set to Fognini in 40 minutes after a devastating backhand winner down the line.
*Nadal 2-5 Fognini
That’s more like it from Nadal as he holds to 15 courtesy of a big forehand winner.
Nadal 1-5 Fognini*
This opening set is all but done as Fognini consolidates the double break. Imperious start to the match.
*Nadal 1-4 Fognini
Gorgous forehand winner from Fognini, 0-30. Three more break points for the Italian after another error from Nadal.
And Fognini breaks again when Nadal puts a forehand long. Incredible start by the Monte Carlo Masters champion.
Nadal’s groundstrokes are all over the place.
Nadal 1-3 Fognini*
Fognini races to 40-15 but is taken to deuce. Nadal misses with a backhand pass and angrily punches the strings on his racket.
But Fognini holds when Nadal puts a forehand into the tramlines.
*Nadal 1-2 Fognini
Serve and volley from Nadal, 30-30. Then he produces a vintage running forehand pass. But Fognini gets a break point of his own when Nadal puts a forehand long.
And another Nadal forehand mistake gives Fognini the break.
Nadal 1-1 Fognini*
Fognini goes long with a forehand, 30-30. Then nets another to hand Nadal a break point. Nadal thinks he’s broken when Fognini’s backhand is called out. But Hawkeye says it was in.
Point is replayed and Nadal’s backhand flies out, deuce. And the Italian comes through after another Nadal error.
*Nadal 1-0 Fognini
Nadal puts a forehand long on the opening point. But responds with an ace and backhand winner up the line.
And the top seed holds to 30 with another ace.
23:35: Nadal to serve first.
23:32: Nadal and Fognini walk onto court to a rapturous reception. Should be a high-quality encounter.
23:25: FIVE MINUTES TO GO KLAXON
23:15: It will be an all-Russian semi-final on Canada after the second and third seed were knocked out.
In the first match of the day, Daniil Medvedev, beat Dominic Thiem 6-3 6-1.
Then Karen Khachanov knocked out Alexander Zverev 6-3 6-3.
23:10: Nadal and Fognini are due on court in around 15 minutes. But lets get you up to speed with the results from earlier today.
23:00: Hello and welcome to LIVE coverage of Rafael Nadal’s quarter-final clash against Fabio Fognini the Rogers Cup.