In Acapulco 2019, Rafael Nadal won the opening set against Nick Kyrgios before suffering a 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 loss after three hours and three minutes. Nick saved numerous break chances and three match points in the deciding set's tie break at 3-6 to score one of the career's most significant victories.
Since Indian Wells, Rafa embraced a streak that still stands, winning an incredible 71 consecutive matches after taking the opening set! The 71st came on Thursday night against Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Finals, with the Spaniard beating the Greek 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in two hours and four minutes, advancing into the semi-final for the first time in five years.
Nadal claimed the triumph with a strong performance in the decider, securing four breaks and hitting 32 winners and 13 unforced errors. The last year's champion placed a perfect drop shot winner in the opening game to get his name on the scoreboard before Nadal held at love to level the score.
Stefanos forced Rafa's backhand error to wrap up the fifth game, forging another lead before Nadal placed back-to-back winners for another comfortable hold and 3-3. The servers' first problems came in game seven when Rafa created two break chances with a forehand crosscourt winner, denied after four straight points from Tsitsipas, who grabbed a strong hold to extend the battle.
Rafael Nadal has won the last 71 matches after taking the opening set.
Rafa fired a service winner in game eight, hoping for more return opportunities before the tie break. Tsitsipas cracked under pressure at 4-4, hitting a double fault to give serve away and allowing Nadal to wrap up the opener with an ace down the T line at 5-4.
The Greek saved a break chance at the beginning of the second set with a backhand crosscourt winner, holding after another direct point from his backhand wing. Pushing strong behind the initial shot, Nadal held at love in games two and four and Tsitsipas matched that pace, bringing games five and seven and moving closer to the tie break.
At 4-5, Nadal sent a volley long to offer two set points to Tsitsipas, double-faulting on the second to hand the set to the Greek. Losing that second-set steam, Stefanos sprayed a forehand error to lose serve at the beginning of the third set, improving his backhand in game two to pull the break back and level the score at 1-1.
Staying calm, Nadal produced outstanding shotmaking in game three to grab the second straight break and forge another lead. Serving at 2-1, Rafa overcame a 30-0 deficit and held with a service winner to confirm the break. The Spaniard seized another break in game seven and moved over the top with a backhand down the line winner at 5-2 for the place in the semis.