Tennis

Nadal is a victory away from hat-trick at Acapulco

Rafael Nadal easily overcame Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-2 in the semi-finals of Acapulco on February 29.

Fifteen years after his first title at Acapulco, the Spanish tennis player is facing the opportunity to once again wear the sombrero for the champions. A convincing victory after an hour 43 minutes before the seventh seed brought Nadal into the 122nd ATP final of his career.

To be in the semi-finals, Dimitrov has overcome many difficult barriers. The 28-year-old had to save two match-points in the hard-fought Adrian Mannarino in the second round, before cutting off a string of five consecutive defeats against Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-finals.

But to do the same thing in the face of Nadal is an impossible task for Dimitrov. The Spanish player succeeded in neutralizing the opponent’s deep backs and heavy topspin, while increasing the pressure with his forehand.

From the first 1-2 lead set, Nadal won four games in a row, including two consecutive games of defending the ball, leading 4-2 back. Missing three chances of a break-point in the next game made Dimitrov put himself in danger. A powerful forehand helped the number one seed win with the first set of wins.

Set two takes place with a similar scenario. The 22nd world player was the leader, before Nadal turned the game around. Having completely owned the baseline, the 33-year-old won three games of the ball and closed the match with a favorable winner.

Scoring 15 winners and making 12 self-defeating errors, Nadal completed his 19th victory at Acapulco, where he won the championship twice, in 2005 and 2013. On his journey to the final, he still had not lost. a single set and just lost 20 games over four games this week.

The 22-year-old went spectacularly against compatriot John Isner for the first time reaching the final of the ATP 500 tournament at Acapulco. Fritz is also the second American player to do so, after Sam Querrey – the champion of the 2017 tournament.

After an hour and 41 minutes, Fritz won 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 with 28 winners and 14 self-defeating errors, in which the number of direct serves was also slightly higher than their predecessors (15 compared to their predecessors).

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