On Saturday, February 29, World No. 2 Rafael Nadal defeated young American Taylor Fritz 6-3, 6-2 to win his 3rd title at the Mexican Open.
The first set was full of service holds until Fritz found himself serving at 3-4. Fritz finally folded to the continuous pressured Nadal is infamous for to go down a break. Nadal would hold his next service game to take the first set 6-3. In the next set, Fritz became visibly frustrated and proved no match to Nadal’s onslaught, dropping the match in 75 minutes.
Nadal’s first two titles in Acapulco came in 2005 & 2013 when the tournament was still played on red clay. This was his first championship there since the tournament changed to hard courts in 2014.
Through the entire tournament, Nadal looked dominant, not dropping a set the entire time. This title was his 1st of 2020 and his 85th career ATP singles title. In his post-match interview, Nadal showed his gratitude to the Mexican Open.
“I couldn’t be happier. I played a great event from the beginning to the end,” Nadal 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.”
As for Fritz, at only 22-years-old, this was his 5th ATP tour-level final and his 1st at a 500-level tournament. On Monday, Fritz will move to a new career-high ranking of No. 24 in the FedEx ATP rankings. After the match, Fritz had nothing but praise for Rafa and his performance.
“He’s one of the best players to ever play the game and he showed me why that is tonight,” Fritz said. “This is one of my favorite tournaments to come to every year. I’m just glad that I could have a good week at one of my favorite events. I felt a lot of love all week.”
“You always wish you could win, but I still have to take positives out of this week. It was an honor to step on the court with Rafa. I’ve played Roger and Novak, the other two people I watched when I was a kid. To play with Rafa, who I’ve watched since I was a kid, it’s pretty crazy when you step back to think about it.”
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