Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev met for the sixth time in the Acapulco semi-final in February last year. Rafa scored his fifth triumph over Daniil, beating the Russian 6-3, 6-3 in a grueling two hours. The duel will be remembered for Nadal's clinical performance on break chances, fending off all 11 for the first time in a career!
Rafa defended all nine break points in five duels on the ATP Tour in the past, raising the bar against Daniil and setting the personal record. Medvedev sprayed his opportunities and got broken three times to end his run in the last four.
Rafa served well in the opening set and claimed it with a single break on his tally. Daniil experienced an early break in set number two and had a massive chance to pull it back in games four and six. Nonetheless, Nadal stayed focused and defended all 11 break points, keeping the initial shot intact and bringing the victory home.
Rafael Nadal saved all 11 break points versus Daniil Medvedev in Acapulco 2022.
Daniil erased two break points in the encounter's second game and bypassed an early setback. Nadal closed the third game with a service winner and delivered a break in the next one when Medvedev netted a backhand at the net.
Rafa claimed four straight points in the fifth game and closed it with an unreturned serve for 4-1. The Russian held in the sixth game after deuces, and the Spaniard brought the next one home at love to stay ahead. Rafa served for the set at 5-3 and clinched it with a service winner after 47 minutes.
Medvedev hit a double fault to face break chances at the beginning of the second set, spraying a forehand mistake to fall further behind. A three-time champion held at love in the second game and moved closer to the finish line.
Daniil found the rhythm on the return in the fourth game and created his first break chances. Nadal stayed calm and defended four before closing the game with a service winner. The Spaniard had an even more enormous task to solve two games later, experiencing nine deuces and no less than seven break points!
Daniil squandered them after failing to punch the decisive strike, and Rafa brought the game home after 20 minutes of a grueling battle. The Spaniard held in game eight with a service winner and sealed the deal from 40-15 down in the next one to reach his fifth Acapulco final.
Facing those 11 break opportunities, Nadal hit five winners and forced five mistakes from his opponent. Medvedev sprayed only one unforced error and still lost all 11 points to stay empty-handed.
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