Monday. 04.03.2024
LEGEND

Nadal extends stunning form with third 2022 title in Acapulco

The 35-year-old's achievements are all the more remarkable considering he was forced to miss last year's US Open to deal with a foot issue which troubled him all the way to the lead-up to January's Australian Open
HANDOUT - 31 January 2022, Australia, Melbourne: Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal poses with the Australian Open men's singles final trophy in the locker room at Melbourne Park following his win over Russia's Daniil Medvedev. Photo: Fiona Hamilton/TENNIS AUSTRALIA via AAP/dpa - ATTENTION: editorial use only and only if the credit mentioned above is referenced in full.
File photo of Rafael Nadal with the Australian Open men's singles final trophy in the locker room at Melbourne Park following his win over Russia's Daniil Medvedev. Photo: Fiona Hamilton/Tennis Australia/dpa.

Rafael Nadal continued his remarkable start to 2022 with his third title for the year after beating British sixth seed Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-4 in the Mexican Open final in Acapulco on Saturday.

The 21-time major winner extended his 15-0 winning run for the calendar year, claiming his 91st ATP Tour crown along the way. The triumph was also Nadal's fourth Mexican Open title, having also won in 2005, 2013 and 2020.

Nadal, who beat new world number one Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals and did not drop a set in Acapulco, won in one hour and 54 minutes over a dogged Norrie.

The 35-year-old's achievements are all the more remarkable considering he was forced to miss last year's US Open to deal with a foot issue which troubled him all the way to the lead-up to January's Australian Open.

Norrie pushed the Spaniard, breaking back late in the second set when trailing 5-2, but the defeat ends his eight-game winning streak after lifting the Delray Beach Open title last week.

The Spaniard made 79 per cent of first serves, winning 71 per cent on them, while he converted four of his five break points for the match in typical ruthless fashion.

'Difficult moments'

"I went through some very difficult moments during the match that I was able to save, and then I took advantage when I had the chances," Nadal said. "I'm very pleased. It was a very important title for me, so I can't be happier."

Nadal claimed the only break of the first set in the fifth game, capitalising on a trio of misses from Norrie.

Both players broke serve early in the second set, with Norrie leading 2-1 before Nadal rattled off four straight games to serve for the crown.

However, Norrie was not done yet, breaking back and holding serve, before the Spaniard finished the job in his 128th appearance in an ATP decider.

Nadal extends stunning form with third 2022 title in Acapulco