ATP Acapulco: Rafael Nadal tops newly-crowned No.1 Daniil Medvedev

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ATP Acapulco: Rafael Nadal tops newly-crowned No.1 Daniil Medvedev

The 21-time Major winner Rafael Nadal is through to his third final from as many tournaments in 2022, improving his start to 14-0! In the Acapulco semi-final, Nadal defeated the newly-crowned world no. 1 Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-3 after a grueling battle that lasted two hours.

Thus, the Spaniard is through to his 128th ATP final and the fifth in Acapulco, seeking the fourth title in Mexico. Rafa has now won five out of six matches against Daniil, prevailing over him in the epic Australian Open final and emerging at the top again today to set the clash against Cameron Norrie.

In set number two, the Spaniard fended off all 11 break points in back-to-back games and pushed the Russian's second serve to the limits to break him three times and seal the deal in straight sets. Nadal lost only nine points behind the initial shot in the opening set, facing no break points and stealing the rival's serve once to move in front.

In the opening game, Rafa placed a backhand down the line winner to bring it home and landed another in game two for two break chances.

Rafael Nadal defeated Daniil Medvedev in straight sets in Acapulco.

Daniil saved them to avoid an early setback and held with a backhand crosscourt winner for 1-1.

Nadal closed the third game with a service winner after deuce and grabbed a break in the next one to forge the advantage. Medvedev netted a backhand at the net right after serve to find himself 3-1 down and chase the result.

From 30-0 down, Nadal claimed four straight points and closed it with an unreturned serve to extend the lead. The Russian held in the sixth game after deuces, and the Spaniard brought the next one home at love to remain in front and move closer to the opener.

Rafa served for the set at 5-3 and fired a service winner to bring it home after 47 minutes and gain momentum. Medvedev hit a double fault to face break chances at the beginning of the second set and sprayed a forehand mistake to fall a set and a break down.

In the second game, the three-time champion placed a forehand down the line for a hold at love and another step towards the finish line. Daniil found the rhythm on the return in the fourth game to create his first break chances.

Nadal stayed calm, defended four break points, closed the game with a service winner and opened a 3-1 advantage. The Spaniard had to work even harder in a marathon game six, with nine deuces and seven break points up for grabs for Medvedev.

It was not to be for the Russian, though, squandering them all and allowing the Spaniard to clinch it with a service winner after grueling 20 minutes. In game eight, Rafa opened a 5-3 gap with an unreturned serve and broke Daniil from 40-15 down a few minutes later after the rival's backhand mistake to advance into the fifth Acapulco final.