In a rematch of the 2022 Australian Open final, Rafael Nadal defeated the soon-to-be-crowned world no.1, Daniil Medvedev, to reach the final of the Mexican Open in Acapulco.
Nadal came out on top with the scoreline of 6-3, 6-3 over the course of two hours at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC.
After dominating the opening set, the Spaniard had to save 11 breakpoints in the second to hang on to an early lead.
Nadal started the match with aggression, controlling the baseline and putting Medvedev under pressure in each of the Russian’s first three service games. Nadal’s dominance forced the top seed to mix up his game with drop shots and serve-and-volley tactics keeping the Russian within a touching distance.
After breaking in the fourth game, Nadal capitalized on his opponent’s errors to seal the first set 6-3.
The 26-year-old got off to the worst possible start in the second set, dropping the first game to hand Nadal an early advantage.
But against the run of play, Medvedev nearly leveled the contest as he created four break chances at 2-1. While unable to break he managed to wrestle some momentum back on his side.
That epic six-deuce game was followed by a nine-deuce game at 3-2. Nadal played some scintillating tennis to save 7 breakpoints using his full arsenal to frequently close points at the net following punishing serves and forehands.
The win improves the pair’s head-to-head record to 4-1 in Nadal’s favor.
Nadal is a three-time champion in Acapulco (2005, 2013, 2020), with his first two titles coming when the event was still played on clay. He improves to 24-2 at the ATP 500 event and has now won 18 sets in a row dating back to his 2020 triumph.
Looking to continue a career-best 14-0 start to the season, Nadal will face Cameron Norrie in Sunday’s Mexican Open final as he goes for his 91st tour-level title in his 128th final.
Nadal leads that head-to-head 3-0, winning all three in straight sets in the 2021 season (Australian Open, Barcelona, Roland Garros).