Rafael Nadal defeats Grigor Dimitrov to reach Acapulco final

(AFP) – 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.

It has been 15 years since Rafa 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,” Rafa 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 Rafa to race forward and blast a cross-court forehand that the Bulgarian had no chance on. Rafa continued his dominance of Dimitrov, improving to 13-1 lifetime. Rafa 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 semi-final 2-6, 7-5, 6-3.

“He’s playing well. He has a great serve, fantastic shots from the baseline. It’s going to be a tough one,” Rafa said of Fritz. “I know I’m going to have to be at my best and I hope to be ready for it.”

This will be the first meeting between Rafa and 22-year-old Fritz.

The second set progressed nearly identically to the first set, with Dimitrov breaking early for a 2-0 lead before Rafa stormed back. Rafa finished out the night by going on a six-game run. His final forehand winner ended play after one hour and 41 minutes.

Source: AFP

12 comments

  1. Rafa played very well despite the heat and humidity. Some fans noted his white wrist bands but it said that they are for the sweat. Rafa looked like he took a shower with his clothes on at the end of the first set. Rafa looks at home in Acapulco.

  2. Very helpful account of this semi final…so useful to Canadians . I am personally confused by Bell MTS scheduling and if I miss part of the match I can turn to you for an unbiased report. Thankyou.

  3. BEAUTIFUL VICTORY AND BRILLIANT MEXICAN OPEN RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) YOU ARE PLAYING SO GREAT AND SOLID….. MAGNIFICENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) BRILLIANT FITNESS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) GORGEOUS AMAZING SPEED…….COMMENDING COURT COVERAGE……AND YOUR EFFECTIVE PRECIOUS SERVE SO BEAUTIFULLY PLACED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) BEAUTIFUL POWERFUL AGGRESSIVE RETURNS…… SHARP VOLLEYS…….FEISTY NET…….. IN SHORT …… MAGICAL GOAT CHAMP RAFA NADAL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) GO RAFA GO AND CONGRTULATIONS ON ALL YOUR BEAUTIFUL FEISTY VICTORIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS AND LOTS OF HAPPINESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) XOXOXOXOXOXOX

  4. The King of Clay is marking his territory on HC’s. I’d say when Rafa wins this, people will say he is no longer just a clay guy.
    Rafa for the win here.

    Good luck for RG and getting your 20th GS title, equally Federer.

    VAMOS RAFA No 1 to us all.

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