Rafael Nafal, back to the final in Acapulco.
He will face Taylor Fritz for the title
Acapulco, Gro., February 28, 2020.- Rafael Nadal will play his fourth final in the Abierto Mexicano Telcel, presentado por HSBC, after defeating in straight sets the bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the semifinal.
The spaniard, number two in the world, had to come from behind on both sets to beat, for the 13th time in his career, Dimitrov, in what is was a match of former champions at Acapulco. Nadal won in 2005 and 2013, while Dimitrov won in 2014.
In the first set, after an early break of serve, Nadal was able to come back and break in two occasions, the second in the sixth game, in order to take the lead 4-2, in 47 minutes he closed the first set. In the second, Dimitrov tried to be more aggressive and was able to break Nadal’s serve to take the lead 2-0, but the only thing he achieved was a fierce reaction from Nadal to go on and win 6 straight games, including 3 breaks of serve. With this, he goes on to win the match in 1 hour and 43 minutes.
Even though Dimitrov had a better percentage with of first serves, the key moments of the match were for Nadal (who reached 19 victories in the AMT against only 2 losses). His rival in the final will be the american Taylor Fritz, whom he has never faced in an official match before.
“It wasn’t easy, he was one break up in the first and second set, the difference are just small details that changed everything, those details went in my favor, that is why the score looks one-sided but that is not the reflection of the match. For me, it’s been a good match, I started slow, but I got better as the match went on. It’s important to me to be here in a final at Acapulco after a while without competing.
“It’s a boost for my moral to get back to the final after losing quarterfinals in Australia, also I think I’m playing a good tennis level. I’m happy for that because I have won against a good friend, but also against one of the best players in the world. It’s been a tough day, I have lost a lot of liquids and I have to get ready for tomorrow for the final against Fritz, who is playing at a very high level”, said Nadal.
On his three prior finals in this tournament, the spaniard won two of them and lost one to the american Sam Querrey (2017). Nadal, 33 years old, will be pursuing title number 85 on his extraordinary career.
On the other hand, Dimitrov assured that the match was very close, but he didn’t get lucky enough to have the match to go his way.
“I had some chances, but sports are like this, I was unlucky in some occasions, but I’m thankful to have reached this part of the tournament. If I had done some things differently, the score could have been different. It was his night because he saved his break points.
“I feel good to face the rest of the season. The next tournament is Indian Wells, Miami, so I have to keep on working. Tonight I had a tough match, I have to accept it, reflect on it, and get back on the court”, said the 22 player in the world, who is one of the confirmed players to play the ATP 250 at Los Cabos in the upcoming month of July.