Fognini beats Nadal to reach Rio final

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ( - After defending champion Rafael Nadal won the first set in Saturday's semifinal, it appeared that the Rio Open's top seed was going to have no problem advancing to defend his crown.

Fabio Fognini had other ideas.

The fourth-seeded Italian topped Nadal 1-6, 6-2, 7-5 to advance to Sunday's final against David Ferrer. Nadal had won his last 52 semifinal matches on clay.

Fognini will be seeking a fourth career ATP World Tour title.

Ferrer, the second seed, dispatched Austria's Andreas Haider-Maurer 7-5, 6-1.

The Spaniard is looking for his second championship of the year and 23rd of his career. He captured the Qatar Open title in January.

Ferrer has won all seven career matches against Fognini.

The winner of Sunday's final will take home $343,000.