The Spanish Rafael Nadal, world ranking number 5became champion of the Mexican Tennis Open by beating the British cameron norrie, 12thby 6-4 and 6-4 in the end in acapulco. Seeded fourth in the tournament, the Mallorcan beat another southpaw, the sixth seed, in 1 hour and 54 minutes and kept his unbeaten record against Norrie, now in four meetings.
Born in South Africa and raised in New Zealand, it turned out to be the most difficult rival that Nadal had throughout the contest, despite the fact that the champion faced the future number 1 on the planet, the Russian Daniil Medvedev, in the semifinal. Nadal overcame both without great pressure, to win the hard court who awarded with $1,678,065 total.
In the first set there were practically no mistakes, even though the Briton played more aggressive tennis than the previous rounds. Rafa started hitting short and with the passing of the points he had increasingly powerful and placed services and shotsand also took advantage of his only break point opportunity in the set, which won it in 51 minutes.
At the start of the second set, Nadal remained focused and precise on the return and broke serve on the first chance to take a 1-0 lead. The annoyance and frustration were evident in Norrie, who smashed his racket against the court. However, the British focused and put the Manacorí in some trouble. He had three break points available, but it was in the fourth when he converted to recover the break and then served to make it 2-1. Even though played without complexes against Nadalthen Norrie was no longer consistent on his serve and suffered two more breaks, with which Rafa was on his way to winning.
Nadal compact vs. Norry
Thus, the Australian Open champion stacked the 15th successive at the start of the season, and won the Mexican Open for the fourth time. With that tied for the most times championsthe Austrian thomas muster and the spanish David Ferrer.
to their 35 yearsNadal achieved the 91st singles trophyand third in 2022, after winning the Melbourne tournament and achieving his 21st Grand Slam championship.
Before, in the final of the doubles tournament, the Spanish Feliciano Lopez and the greek Stefanos Tsitsipas they beat the salvadoran Marcelo Arevalo and the dutch Jean-Julien Rojer by 7-5 and 6-4, in 1 hour and 34 minutes.
Despite his age, despite the disease that causes pain in his feet, despite the many injuries he suffered in his career, Nadal has an excellent start to 2022. Optimal, in fact. That fifth place in the ranking seems to be a liar today, as a phrase that the left-hander issued after beating the first of his five commitments in Acapulco (6-3 and 6-2 against the American Denis Kudla) also sounds extemporaneous.
I speak of aspire to the highest position in the ranking, which he held several times. “That time has passed for me, unfortunately. My physical problems prevented me from finishing a few more years as number 1, and I say this from humility. During some years in particular I felt that I was ready to be number 1 and the physical did not allow me to compete enough to be. Today my goals are others: I will not chase in any case to be number 1″, surprised.
“If later, with what I can play with, it happens, I will be incredibly happy. But I see it very difficult. I have to select much more where I play than young people. I will not make a different calendar to look for more points”, added Nadal, who finished at the top of the ranking for five seasons: 2008, 2010, 2013, 2017 and 2019.
Because of the experience, the maturity, the goals achieved, Nadal’s strong mentality becomes even more granite off the pitch. “At this point I no longer have pressure. There is nothing external that generates more pressure on me than my self-demand. The support and affection of the people help me to be better and to play better. If I lose it won’t be because of public pressure. The only thing that the public can generate is more chances of success, ”said Rafa, always filling her words with content.
That, on the other hand, at this moment they seem to be fallible in terms of the top of the ranking: in a while the clay season will appear, the Majorcan’s specialty, who just this year has points to win at Roland Garros with respect to 12 months ago (fall in a semifinal). Without going any further, with the unexpected defeat of Novak Djokovic in Dubai (vs. the Czech Jiri Vesely) and certain ups and downs of Medvédev, Nadal seems to be the best tennis player on the planet right now.
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Rafael Nadal beat Cameron Norrie, won the ATP 500 in Acapulco, has 15 successes in a row in the year and… rules out fighting to be No. 1 in the world