Rafael Nadal beats Taylor Fritz for third Acapulco title

(AFP) – World number two Rafael Nadal captured his first ATP Tour title of 2020, easily defeating unseeded Taylor Fritz in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, in the final of the Mexico Open on Saturday. He didn’t drop a set all week and improved to 19-2 all-time at this event.

He nabbed his third Mexico Open title to go with victories in 2013 and 2005.

“I couldn’t be happier. I played a great event from the beginning to the end,” Rafa said. “Acapulco was the first big title that I won in my career, so to be able to stay here after 15 years is amazing. I can’t thank enough the people who make me feel at home every single time.”

Rafa wasted no time figuring out Fritz’s game in the first career meeting between the two. The 19-time Grand Slam winner made eight unforced errors and needed just one ace but it came in the final game of the second set to get to championship point.

Rafa closed it out with a blistering serve that handcuffed Fritz and gave Rafa his 85th career title.

Rafa won the final eight points to take the first set. He seized control by breaking Fritz’s serve in the ninth game to go up 5-4. He then served for the set, winning four straight points. On set point he hammered a serve which Fritz barely got back. That set up an overhead smash for Rafa which he put away nicely. Rafa broke Fritz twice in the second set, including the fifth game to go up 3-2. He broke Fritz again to take a 5-4 lead and then served out the match.

Rafa has now won a title 17 consecutive years.

Source: AFP

52 comments

  1. According to the NYTimes, Indian Wells has been canceled however, tournament director Tommy Haas said, “We are prepared to hold the tournament on another date and will explore options.”

    An unidentified individual at the tournament has contacted COVID-19.

  2. Indian Wells has been cancelled due to a diagnosis today of the coronavirus…
    They announced…
    “As a result, the 2020 BNP Paribas Open will not take place at this time due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus and the safety of the participants and attendees at the event,” organizers said in a statement. “This is following the guidance of medical professionals, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and State of California.”

    I was there last year and found it to be one of the most phenomenal venues for tennis in
    the U.S. It is a sad day but we all know everyone needs to be vigilant and careful…

    Hopefully we will get this under control sooner than later…

    • It would be nice if Miami doesn’t wait until the last minute to cancel so that the players can head home. As it stands they are in limbo although they are allowed to remain on site to continue practising. There is currently talk of Indian Wells and Miami being rescheduled to the Fall to replace the Asian swing.

  3. Hi Margo,
    My comment on Rafa being healthy was meant to suggest that he would probably be able to fight off the virus if he contracted it more so than older people with underlying conditions.

    Will be interesting to watch Rafa & Friends Tuesday night to see if these protocols will be adhered to for this exhibition.

    In the photos from IW that we’ve seen so far players are still shaking hands and high fiving. There’s a glaring omission from the ATP directive regarding this issue. Old habits are hard to break but I’m hopeful that dear Rafa keeps all of this top of mind.

    • Hi RR, yes, sorry if my response was ambiguous. I agree with you about Rafa being healthy and a great candidate to fight off the virus if he were to contract it. I was more concerned about his older and younger relatives even though reports are out that children seem to fight it better than older adults.

      Time will tell if all these protocols help people evade this nasty bug IF people adhere to them because the US is behind in the testing process.

    • Hi RR,

      So disappointed IW cancelled but safety is #1 priority……

      Do you know if Rafa and Friends will happen as scheduled?

      Coronavirus has become a global matter, hope it will be under control soon🤞

      • Rafa and Friends has also been cancelled Mimi. Was able to watch it live last year and it was a really fun event for some worthy charities. All of this is just so unfortunate on so many levels but uppermost is the human health situation.

        With the Rome Open only 2 months away and Monte Carlo being so close to Italy you have to wonder whether those will be scrubbed. News today sadly indicating that the virus is spreading rapidly in Spain. Praying for the Nadal family and everyone to be safe and well.

      • Thanks RR🙏 I am disappointed but it is understandable for the decision.
        I watched it on TV last year and enjoyed it even though Rafa lost but happy Milos won.

        Many unknowns due to the Coronavirus……the best to Rafa and his family and all of us❤️ Take care everyone!

  4. Here is the statement put out by the Indian Wells tournament ….

    More than 250 hand sanitizing stations have been placed throughout the facility
    Players will be required to manage their own towels on the court and ball kids will not touch or move player towels. A chair will be placed at the back of the court for them to place their towel on for usage during the match.
    Ball kids will wear gloves
    Restaurant and food supply workers will wear gloves
    Volunteers taking tickets at entrances will wear gloves
    N95 masks are being secured for first aid and health personnel to be prepared for any circumstances that would necessitate the use thereof
    Organized player and fan interaction will be limited at the tournament
    All common areas throughout the facility will be cleaned daily with an antiviral application
    Coordinating with local hospital and CDC approved testing for all individuals with symptoms
    (The above statements were released by the tournament on March 6, 2020)

    In the near future, some changes might be incorporated into their safety measures to ensure the protection of everyone at Tennis Paradise. The main draw events of Indian Wells 2020 will start on March 12.

    Most importantly, as everyone is advised to avoid crowded places and stay indoors. The tennis fans who have purchased their tickets for BNP Paribas Open may request a refund for this year’s tournament. Or a credit for the 2021 tournament.

  5. Hi Margo. Thanks for the info on the WTA and ATP precautonary measures. It’s reassuring to know that the organisations are making every effort to prevent, or at least minimise, the transmission of this virus.

    Looking forward to seeing how Rafa fares in the IW draw on Tuesday.

    • You’re welcome Lorna. I agree..

      Re your earlier comment about towels, I have always felt the used towels were unsanitary. I have even seen players spit in them then hand them to the children. Same thing when I saw sweaty shirts and headbands being tossed into the fan bleachers; fans only too eager to catch them. YIKES

  6. RR, responding to your 8:01pm comment, there was no reply link.

    Yes, Rafa is healthy but he is usually among family members, young and older and I don’t expect this virus to suddenly disappear. By your comments I can see you are following developments closely and you, like me, are bothered because so much about this strain is still unknown.

    I received the following, via email, from the ATP Tour.

    7 March 2020

    ATP AND WTA TO IMPLEMENT PRECAUTIONARY HEALTH MEASURES IN INDIAN WELLS AND MIAMI

    As the outbreak of COVID-19 continues to cause concern on a global scale, the ATP and WTA have jointly announced a series of precautionary health measures that will be implemented on-site at upcoming events including the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, the Miami Open presented by Itaú and WTA’s Volvo Car Open in Charleston.

    Following medical advice by health experts, the precautionary measures, which are taken in the interest of the health and safety of players, staff, fans and the wider tennis community, are as follows:

    Players and mascots will not hold hands when walking out on court
    Ball kids will be provided with gloves to wear on court
    Ball kids will not handle player towels during matches
    Ball kids will not handle player drinks during matches
    Players will be instructed to not distribute used towels, headbands, shirts, sweatbands, etc. to fans following matches or practice
    Players will not accept pens, tennis balls or other items to hold for autograph signing

    “The health and safety of our players, fans, staff and tournament personnel is paramount and, as the outbreak of COVID-19 continues, these are common sense precautions for us to take,” said the ATP and WTA in a joint statement. “We continue to monitor this closely on a daily basis, working with our players and tournaments, as well as public health authorities as the situation evolves globally.”

    The precautionary health measures will be implemented across all WTA events and ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour events through the 2020 spring season, with a further review to follow.

    Copyright © 2020 ATP Tour Inc, All rights reserved.

  7. Would like to mention the source of my information: It’s StephanieMyles@OpenCourt. She was given access to a copy of the bulletin which was sent to WTA and ATP players. There’s also a good length video of Rafa’s practice session with Felix.

    • Thanks Lorna. Also little buddies will not be holding player’s hands entering the stadium. No mention of opponents not shaking hands with each other or the umpire. Would like it to be replaced by fist bump. One important change is more leniency regarding shot clock presumably due to extra time needed with towel situation. Rafa should be pleased about that.

      • Yes, RR. They need to address the handshake issue. It’s good that there will be some leniency with the stop clock. I’ve never understood why players couldn’t fetch their own towels, as ball kids being handed (or in some cases thrown) dirty, sweaty towels isn’t pleasant or healthy for them. The rule now that only players have to handle their own towels should be made standard across all tournaments.

  8. Indian Wells 2020 has laid new protocols as a precautionary measure in regard to the ongoing coronavirus COVID 19 (statement released on 6th March).

    More than 250 hand sanitizing stations have been placed around the facility
    Players will be required to manage their own towels on court and ball kids will not touch or move player towels
    A chair will be placed at the back of the court for players to put their towel on
    Ball kids, restaurant & food supply workers and volunteers taking tickets will all wear gloves
    *N95 masks are being secured for first aid and health personnel
    Organised player and fan interaction will be limited
    *All common areas will be cleaned daily with an antiviral application
    CDC approved testing for all individuals with symptoms.

    Fans who have purchased a ticket may request a refund or a credit or a credit for next year’s tournament.

    • Thank you Lorna. I would love to see the Indian Wells protocols, which are missing from the ATP list, incorporated into the ATP and WTA protocols if it hasn’t been done yet. Extra safety measures for sure.

  9. Was noticing from pictures of the Atlanta exhibition match that Rafa is still touching and being in very close physical contact with fans when posing for selfies. I know he has always done that, which is part of his appeal, but he would be wise to keep a bit more distance now with COVID-19. Surprised Dr. Cotorro or anyone else he trusts would not have advised against this at least until it passes.

    • RR, I agree that Rafa should keep his distance because there is still no consensus on incubation- and- transmission periods. It is recommended that three-to-six feet is a safe distance. I hope he is not touching his face before washing his hands.

      • Yes Margo. Some baseball teams at spring training are not even allowing their players to sign autographs never mind selfies. Some of Rafa’s fans are rude enough to put their face right on his. He’s hardly going to be using hand sanitizer on his face every time. We know the mouth, nose and eyes are the easiest portals to receive the virus. Mind you he’s a youngish healthy guy but too much is still unknown. Wishing for him to be smart and stay safe.

  10. ENHORABUENA!!! Despues d 15 años sigues estando en plena forma, m alegro mucho por todo, sigue conservandote así, Siempre contigo!!

  11. Rafa played solid, tidy tennis in this match, so few UEs and thankfully he managed to serve out both the first set and the match, as that’s become a bit of a problem lately. Well played and congratulations Rafa!!! My thanks to the ballkids for helping him with the sawdust. It should be put in a something like a flour shaker to avoid having to fiddle with the lid 🙂 Happy for all the fans going to see Rafa in Atlanta – enjoy!

  12. Just phenomenal work all through this Masters..Our Champion many Congratulations
    Your 3rd Acapulco. Vamos

    • Alcapulco is in the 500 series so it’s not a Masters 1000. You can find a list of all ATP tournaments on the ATP website. Points, prize money, surface and draw are included for each tournament.

      • Sure thing, Abbeynemo. Sure thing.
        Alcapulco is not a Masters 1000 tournament.

        cheers

  13. Rafa, te felicito. Como vivo en Alemania me quedé despierta toda la noche, hasta las cinco. Pero valió la pena!
    Verte jugar es como un sueño. ¡Que pases un año fenomenal!

  14. Lovely photos🙏
    Congratulations Rafa, looking forward to see you holding and biting many more trophies!❤️

  15. Congrats to our champ! It is so good to watch you win on a hardcourt. I can’t wait to see you play Dimitrov on Monday in the exhibition match in Georgia! We have great seats and it will be my first time to see Rafa in person! WooHoo!!

  16. No wonder he was playing in the little league … no players in the top 20 ☹️ It’s. a walk in the park …

    • It’s not his fault that the top players he was slated to play eg de Minaur,Kyrgios were either defeated or injured before Rafa got to them !!!!!! Get real !!!!!

    • He should have played Stan or Kyrgios, and then Sascha Zverev or Felix A-A in the final. It’s hardly his fault they didn’t make it through the draw!

  17. Well don Rafa congratulations 🎊🍾 👍😘🇺🇸🏆🏆🏆👍👍🎈🎉🎊💕💪🎈🎉🎊🍾🏆🏆🏆

  18. Congratulation Rafa , great week in Acapulco and finished in style. What a gracious champion and role model in every way . Wonderful start to the year . Now to rest and be ready for Indian Wells . Taylor Fritz did well , 10 aces is impressive .
    🍀🇪🇸

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