Rafael Nadal adds an outstanding win in Mexico to a perfect season

 In the Acapulco final between Rafael Nadal and Cameron Norrie, something had to give, as both men entered with different victory streaks on the line.

In a 6-4, 6-4 triumph in hot and humid circumstances, Nadal didn't surrender an inch. The 91st championship of Nadal's illustrious career, the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC, is his fourth at Acapulco.

"The host city has always been a really unique location," Nadal stated. "The spirit that the Mexicans bring to me is quite special."

The result brings the latest chapter of the 35-year-rehabilitation old's from a left foot injury that kept him out for the final five months of 2021 to a successful end. It's a narrative that Nadal worried would never be told because of the pain he was in due to an injury that he believes can't be healed, but only managed.

Nadal increased his career-best start to an ATP Tour season to 15-0 with a commanding victory over soon-to-be World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev. He won the tournament without dropping a set, just like he did in Acapulco in 2020. Since the Australian Open, Nadal has won 13 sets in a row and 20 in a row in Acapulco.

It was also Nadal's 128th participation in a title match, and his 11th consecutive triumph in ATP Tour finals. He is expected to move up one spot to No. 4 in the ATP Rankings on Monday as a consequence of this week's performances.

"I went through some very difficult moments during the match that I was able to save, and then I took advantage when I had the chances," said Nadal

"I'm very pleased. It was a very important title for me, so I can't be happier." he added 

The Briton made few errors in the first set, but Nadal capitalized on a trio of miscues in the fifth game to earn the set's sole break opportunity. He put matters into his own hands there, landing the first meaningful blow of the match with a forehand passing shot.

After the match, Nadal commented, "Cameron is a very good player, a tough guy." "He gives you the impression that you can't play against him at all."

In the opening set, Nadal hit 89 percent of his first serves (24/27) and won 79 percent (19/24) of those points. He ended the match with such numbers of 79 and 71%, respectively.

Nadal earned an immediate break in the second set, much as he did in the first after winning the opening set against Medvedev in the semis.

However, Nadal's sequence of 16 straight break point saves, which dated back to his quarter-final triumph against Tommy Paul, came to an end in the following game. At 0/40, Norrie grabbed his first break points of the match, and although Nadal erased all three opportunities, Norrie fought back in a 20-ball sequence to take a fourth and even the match at 1-1.

After going behind 1-2, Nadal fought back to take the lead and then some, winning four straight games to put himself on the verge of Acapulco gold.

After a magnificent pick-up volley brought up match point, he served out the championship tilt at the second time of asking.

Nadal has already won two more Grand Slam titles after his record-breaking 21st at the Australian Open, beginning with an ATP 250 win at the Melbourne Summer Set in January.

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