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2020 Acapulco Open semi-final preview: Imperious Nadal rolls into last 4, Fritz sets up an all-American clash with Isner

Rafael Nadal moves into the Acapulco semis
Rafael Nadal moves into the Acapulco semis
ANALYST
Modified 28 Feb 2020
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Rafael Nadal has bounced back impressively from his four-set quarter-final loss to Dominic Thiem at the 2020 Australian Open, reeling off consecutive straight-set wins over Pablo Andujar, Miomir Kecmanovic, and Soonwoo Kwon to reach the last 4 in Acapulco.

For a place in his fourth final at the only ATP 500 tournament in México, Nadal will face 2014 champion Grigor Dimitrov who beat Stanislas Wawrinka in straight sets to end a five-match losing streak against the 3-time Grand Slam champion..

In the bottom half of the draw, Taylor Fritz ended the seven match win-streak of New York Open champion Kyle Edmund to set up a last-four showdown with compatriot John Isner who beat another American Tommy Paul in the quarters.

On that note, let us have a preview of the two semifinals at the 2020 Acapulco Open.


#1 Rafael Nadal [1] vs Grigor Dimitrov [7]

Nadal (left) would take on Dimitrov for the 14th time in his career
Nadal (left) would take on Dimitrov for the 14th time in his career

Checkout: 2020 Acapulco Open Schedule

Top-seed Nadal reaches his first semi-final of the season in Acapulco after losing to Dominic Thiem in the Australian Open quarter-finals. The Spaniard is yet to drop a set in his three matches at the ATP 500 tournament this year.

This is in contrast to his opponent Grigor Dimitrov who needed to save two match points in the second round against Adrian Mannarino before seeing off Stanislas Wawrinka in straight sets to return to the last-four in Acapulco for the first time since winning the 2014 title.

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In 13 previous meetings with Nadal, Dimitrov has managed to win just once, with the Spaniard winning 7 of their 8 hard court matches, doing so most recently in the quarters of the 2017 Shanghai Masters. Dimitrov's only win over Nadal came in the last-eight of the 2016 Beijing Open.

The Bulgarian has struggled for consistency this season despite making the US Open semis in 2019. On current form, it is difficult to see Dimitrov stop the Nadal juggernaut and reach the final of the tournament he last won in 2014.

You may also like | 3 milestones Nadal could achieve in 2020


#2 John Isner [5] vs Taylor Fritz

Isner (left) faces compatriot Fritz in the 2020 Acapulco semifinals
Isner (left) faces compatriot Fritz in the 2020 Acapulco semifinals

Following an indifferent start to the season, Taylor Fritz has won three matches on the trot to reach his first semi-final of the season. The young American ended the winning run of Kyle Edmund to book a last-four clash with compatriot John Isner.

Isner is back in the semi-finals of Acapulco after losing to eventual winner Nick Kyrgios last year. In his first last-four clash of the season, the tall American had lost to Ugo Humbert in Auckland.

Fritz and Isner have met thrice on the tour. The younger American beat the 2018 Wimbledon semi-finalist in the second round at 2019 Auckland after losses in the 2016 Atalanta quarter-finals and the first round at 2017 Wimbledon.

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With both players rounding into form at the same stage of the tournament, this one could be an enticing match-up. It remains to be seen which player would be the last man standing and stand the chance of emulating compatriot Sam Querrey's title-winning run in 2017.


Also read | Méxican Open Acapulco 2020: Where to watch and live stream details 

Published 28 Feb 2020, 12:57 IST
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