The early exchanges of the 2020 ATP Acapulco Open final between Rafael Nadal and Taylor Fritz might have suggested that the title match could be one of Nadal's most strenuous outings of the week. But the 19-time Grand Slam champion soon turned on 'beast mode'.
From three games apiece in the first set, Nadal won eight of the next ten games to return to the winner's podium in Acapulco for the first time in seven years. In the process, Nadal emulated his retired compatriot David Ferrer as the only players to win the tournament on both clay and hard court (2014 onwards).
In dropping just 25 games in 5 matches, it marks the most emphatic of Nadal's 22 hardcourt title triumphs as the Spaniard lifted his 85th career singles title. On that note, let us have a look at 3 talking points from the 2020 ATP Acapulco Open.
#1. Nadal wins a title for a record-extending 17th consecutive season
By winning the Acapulco title, Nadal lifted an ATP singles title for a record 17th consecutive season. It is at least two clear of the next two marks of 15 achieved by Roger Federer (2001 to 2015) and Novak Djokovic (2006 to 2020).
Nadal won his first singles title at 2004 Sopot by beating Argentine Jose Acasuso in straight sets in the title match and has since won at least one title in each of his next 16 seasons on tour.
Only the duo of Andre Agassi and Roger Federer have had more title winning seasons (18 apiece) than the 19-time Grand Slam champion.
You may also like: 3 milestones awaiting Nadal in 2020.
#2. Taylor Fritz reaches his first ATP 500 final
Turning around an indifferent start to the season, Taylor Fritz reeled off three wins on the trot for the first time in 2020 before recovering from 2-6 2-4 0-40 down against compatriot John Isner to reach his first-ever ATP 500 series final in Acapulco.
Facing Rafael Nadal for the first time in his young career, the 2019 Eastbourne winner gave a good account of himself in the initial exchanges, holding serve for 3 games all in the first before the Spaniard upped the ante to take a straight-set win.
In the process, Fritz fell to 1-4 in career singles finals.
#3. Soonwoo Kwon makes his first ATP 500 quarterfinal
Continuing his fine form in the 2020 season, Soonwoo Kwon reached his fourth consecutive ATP Tour quarterfinal in Acapulco by beating Taro Daniel and Dusan Lajovic in successive matches.
Having made the last eight in Pune, New York, and Delray Beach, it was a step up for the young South Korean who reached his first quarterfinal at an ATP 500 series tournament.
Kwon, however, lost in straight sets to eventual winner Rafael Nadal.