A feisty Novak Djokovic moved into the quarter-finals of the Internazionali d'Italia by seeing off Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets on Thursday.
Fognini, who failed once again to make it past the third round of his home tournament, had defeated British world No 1 Andy Murray on Tuesday evening to hinder the prospects of the three-time major victor repeating a deep run in Paris where he lost to Novak Djokovic a year ago.
John Isner, of the USA, serves the ball to Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka during their match at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Thursday, May 18, 2017.
Nadal extended his current winning streak on clay to 17 matches with a 6-3 6-4 win over American Jack Sock in their quarter-final. I served well and took my chances when I had them. "I don't have an easy draw here, a tough one", Nadal said. "So will be another tough battle tomorrow".
Nadal's recent surge has seen him clinch consecutive titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid, and he is now three wins away from an eighth Rome crown.
"I went out there with the belief that if I played well and executed my game plan, I could walk off that court with a win. It shows me I'm on the right path", he said. "I was very happy with the performance".More news: Sanchez, Giroud send Arsenal up to fifth
The 12-time grand slam champion will face Juan Martin del Potro or Kei Nishikori in the last eight after beating the Spaniard 6-4 6-4 at the Foro Italico.
Bautista Agut could have gone 5-4 up in the second set after Djokovic appeared to send the ball long but the umpire said it was in. "I'm going out there against the No. 3 player in the world. Maybe I have a little bit less to lose than he does", Isner said.
Murray's best performance was winning the Dubai title in February, but he looks to be struggling to replicate the blistering displays that carried him to the number one spot at the end of a year ago. That's what happened today.
Isner, meeting Wawrinka for the first time in six years, will now meet Marin Cilic after the sixth seed from Croatia beat Belgian David Goffin, the ninth seed, 6-3, 6-4.
Zverev will next face fifth-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic, who defeated Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2.
"I thought I played pretty well out there", said Isner, who is ranked 24th.