Rafael Nadal completed his South American swing in Mexico City's Monumental Plaza de Toros Mexico, beating Casper Ruud in front of 40,000 people! It was the fifth duel between two great friends in the last two weeks, previously competing in Buenos Aires, Belo Horizonte, Quito, Bogota and Mexico City.
Rafa scored four wins and wrapped up the series with a 7-6, 6-4 victory in front of delighted Mexican fans. The first duel came in Buenos Aires, and Nadal scored a 7-6, 6-2 triumph at Arena Parque Roca. Ruud grabbed a break in the opener's fifth game, and Nadal pulled the break back in game eight.
The Spaniard saved three set points in the tie break and clinched it 10-8 with a smash winner. Nadal broke Ruud in the second set's games three and five for 4-1 and held at love in game eight to seal the deal. They met again at Mineirinho Arena in Belo Horizonte, with Rafa prevailing 7-6, 7-5 after digging deep in both sets.
Rafael Nadal ended his South American swing with four wins over Casper Ruud.
Casper finally beat Rafa for the first time in Quito, earning a 6-4, 6-4 win to deliver Nadal's first loss of the swing. The Spaniard bounced back in Bogota, playing well in front of the Colombian fans and scoring a 7-6, 6-4 triumph.
The last duel came in Mexico City, and it was another entertaining night of tennis between world no. 2 and world no. 3. Nadal kicked off the action with a hold at 15 in the first game after a service winner. Ruud responded with a hold at love in game two to get his name on the scoreboard.
The Norwegian closed the fourth game after deuce, and the Spaniard claimed an entertaining point with a winner at the net for 3-2. Rafa extended the sixth game with a lob winner before Casper seized it after forcing the rival's mistake.
Nadal fired a bullet from his forehand in the seventh game for a hold at love, and Ruud followed that pace with a service winner in the next one. A 22-time Major winner blasted a forehand down the line winner in the ninth game, and world no.
3 held at 15 in the next one for 5-5 and more drama. Rafa landed another forehand winner in game 11, and Casper introduced a tie break after an ace in the next one. Nadal moved 3-1 up with a smash winner and placed a volley winner for 4-2.
Ruud grabbed the next three points and opened a 5-4 lead after Nadal's double fault. Rafa stayed calm and created a set point at 5-5. He wasted it after a double fault before moving 7-6 up with a volley winner at the net. Casper denied it with a service winner, and Rafa won the next two points for 9-7.
Nadal won a point after a tweener in the second set's third game and saved a break point in the next one for 2-2. Rafa blasted a forehand down the line winner in game eight for 4-4 and broke in the next one after Casper's loose forehand.
Nadal served for the victory in game ten and sealed the deal with a smash winner that carried him over the top.