Acapulco | Nadal picks up fourth Mexican title

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Rafa Nadal remains unbeaten this season as he collected his third title of the year in Acapulco where he won the Mexican Open for a fourth time and improves the overall number of titles he has won during his career, to 91.

I’m very pleased, It was a very important title for me, so I can’t be happier Rafa Nadal

The Spaniard’s latest victim was Britain’s Cameron Norrie, world-ranked 12, whom he defeated 6-4 6-4 after one-hour and 54-minutes for his fourth victory over the Brit in as many meetings.

“Cameron is a very solid player, he’s a tricky player, he makes you feel that you cannot play comfortable against him at all,” Nadal said of the British No.1 after the final.

The world No.5, a former No.1, previously collected the Mexican hat and trophies in 2005, 2013 and 2020 and, as two years ago, ran through the field without dropping a set.

Both players were in fact running individual winning streaks but while Nadal will continue his at 15, Norrie’s unbeaten run in February, came to an end at 8.

“I’m very pleased,” Nadal said of his week’s work. “It was a very important title for me, so I can’t be happier.

“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,” added Nadal, who is now both the youngest and oldest champion at the event.

The Mallorcan started strongly putting 89 percent of his first serves in play in the first set and winning 79 percent of those points, converting his first break point in the fifth game of the opener with a forehand winner.

Nadal looked set to run away with the final when he broke Norrie in the first game of the second set but the Brit, winner of the Delray Beach title last week, broke back to level at 1-all on his fourth break point following a 20-shot rally.

Norrie held for 2-1 but then the Nadal juggernaut rolled through the next four games only to be briefly hampered when he served for the title at 5-3 when he was broken.

Nadal made no mistake on his second attempt to serve out, reaching match point with a volley winner before Norrie committed a forehand error.

The Spaniard is regaining his mantle of invincibility back on the tour. He last lost a match back in August to the South African Lloyd Harris in Washington which brought his 2021 season to an end as he required time for his foot injury to heal properly.

He then returned to win the Melbourne Summer Set Australian Open warm-up event before going on to win the Australian Open for a second time for his 21st grand slam title setting a new record ahead of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic’s 20.

His victory over Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final was a classic, the Spaniard rallying from two sets down to triumph, and he beat the soon-to-be world No.1 from Russia comfortably in the semi-finals last Friday, on the day after Medvedev was assured of rising to the top spot in the world following Djokovic’s early exit at Dubai.

Rafael Nadal and Cameron Norrie shake hands after the final

Regina Cortina/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

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