Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have been the most dominant players in the last two decades, sharing 39 Major titles and many other records that will take some beating in the years to come. Twelve out of 14 most significant ATP tournaments of the season have been played in outdoor conditions and Roger and Rafa have been the ones to beat there together with Novak Djokovic, sharing 159 outdoor ATP titles to leave all the rivals behind.
Roger Federer is the most successful player in the Open era with 944 ATP outdoor wins, followed by Nadal who has become the second player with at least 900 ATP outdoor triumphs on Friday night in Acapulco, beating Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets to secure the milestone win and join Roger on the exclusive list.
With a 900-162 score in the ATP encounters without the roof above his head (only two indoor titles in a career of the great Spaniard), Rafa has the best winning percentage ahead of Novak Djokovic, Bjorn Borg and Roger Federer, securing the record-breaking 82 outdoor ATP titles and hoping for another one on Saturday night.
Nadal took down Dimitrov 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and 43 minutes for the 13th victory over the Bulgarian in 14 encounters, advancing into the 122nd ATP final. Nadal is now 19-2 in Acapulco, seeking the third title on Saturday against Taylor Fritz and the first since the event switched to hard courts in 2014 when Dimitrov went all the way.
In his sixth straight victory over Grigor, Rafa lost serve twice and grabbed five breaks to erase that fact and control the scoreboard, hitting 15 winners and 12 unforced errors that carried him home on a challenging night in Acapulco, with humidity limiting them from producing the best tennis.
Nadal held with a service winner in the opening game before getting broken at love after a double fault in game three that gave the Bulgarian an early lead. The Spaniard broke back in the very next game following a forehand error from Dimitrov, holding with a backhand down the line winner in game five and stealing Grigor's serve despite two game points for the 2014 winner.
Serving at 4-2, Nadal fended off two break chances, staying in front and serving for the set when Dimitrov held at love to reduce the deficit to 5-3. The Spaniard sealed the opener with a comfortable hold in game nine, finishing the job in just under 50 minutes and hoping for more of the same in set number two.
There, Grigor broke in the second set with a forehand winner that sent him 2-0 up, losing ground after that to drop the last six games and propel Nadal through. Raising his level and reducing the number of errors, Rafa delivered breaks in games three, five and seven, moving 5-2 in front with a break at love and sealing the deal with a forehand crosscourt winner in the next game to advance into the title match.