Nadal strolls into Acapulco final
(Agence France-Presse) - March 1, 2020 - 12:00am

Rafael Nadal used a steady stream of blistering forehand winners and a heavy dose of precision serves to book his spot in the ATP Mexico Open final with a convincing 6-3, 6-2 win over Grigor Dimitrov.

The two-time tournament champion will be the favorite to claim his third Acapulco title when he faces unseeded Taylor Fritz in Saturday’s final.

It has been 15 years since world No. 2 Nadal won for the first time here. He also won in 2013 and improved to 18-2 at this event overall.

“I’m very happy. A great victory against one of the best players in the world and a good friend,” Nadal said after his one-sided victory on Friday night. “I think I’ve increased my level during the match, so it’s positive for me.”

The top seed clinched the victory on his first match point. He fell behind 0-30 in the final game but rallied to win the next four points.

On match point, seventh seed Dimitrov hit a backhand that clipped the top of the net and bounced in. But it hung in the air just long enough for Nadal to race forward and blast a cross-court forehand that the Bulgarian had no chance on.

Nadal continued his dominance of Dimitrov, improving to 13-1 lifetime. Nadal has only lost 20 games in his first four matches this week and is yet to lose a set.

The unseeded Fritz defeated fellow American John Isner in the other semifinal, 2-6, 7-5, 6-3.

RAFAEL NADAL
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