Rafael Nadal overwhelmed young American Taylor Fritz in straight sets to lift his third title at the Acapulco Open. This was Nadal's third title in Acapulco, and he joined compatriot David Ferrer as the only players to win the tournament on both clay and hardcourt.
Having already suffered three defeats (twice at the ATP Cup, one at the Australian Open) last month, Nadal turned around a rather underwhelming start to the 2020 season by lifting his 85th singles title in Mexico. In one of his most emphatic performances at a hardcourt tournament, Nadal dropped only 25 games to win his 22nd title on the surface.
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In five straight-set wins, the Spaniard produced identical 6-3 6-2 wins over compatriot Pablo Andujar in the first round, Grigor Dimitrov in the semifinals and Taylor Fritz in the final to become one of three players to win Acapulco at least 3 times, the others being David Ferrer (4) and Thomas Muster (4).
On that note, let us have a look at the three occasions Nadal was the last man standing in Acapulco.
#1 2005: Beats Albert Montanes 6-1, 6-0
In his first appearance at Acapulco, back in 2005, Nadal reeled off successive straight-sets wins over compatriots Alex Calatatrava and Santiago Ventura in his first two matches.
Following a pair of straight-set wins over Argentines Guillermo Canas and Mariano Puerta, Nadal conceded only one game in a lopsided final against compatriot Albert Montanes, to lift his first title at the tournament.
It was the then teenager's third title of his career and second of a career-best 11 titles of the season which saw him win his maiden Grand Slam title at Roland Garros - an event he would win on another 11 occasions.
Incidentally, Nadal left this trophy in a rental taxi while on his way to the airport and never found it again, as he revealed years later.
#2 2013: Beats David Ferrer 6-0, 6-2
Making his first appearance in Acapulco in 8 years, Nadal reeled off five consecutive straight-set wins over a trio of Argentines - Diego Schwartzman, Martin Alund, and Leonardo Mayer - and two compatriots - Nicolas Almagro and David Ferrer - to lift his second title at the tournament in as many attempts.
Just like it was in 2005, success in Acapulco fueled another trophy-laden season for the Spaniard as Nadal lifted 10 titles in the 2013 season to finish as the year-end No. 1 for the third time in his career.
It was also the last time the Acapulco Open was held on a claycourt, before transitioning to hardcourt from the 2014 edition onwards.
#3 2020: Beats Taylor Fritz 6-3, 6-2
Having lost in the second round in 2019 to eventual winner Nick Kyrgios after squandering a match point, Nadal made a triumphant return to Acapulco in 2020.
The Spaniard did not drop a set in five straight-sets wins. He saw off Pablo Andujar, Miomir Kecmanovic, Soon-woo Kwon, Grigor Dimitrov and Taylor Fritz to join David Ferrer as the only players to win the tournament on both clay and hardcourt.
It was Nadal's most emphatic hardcourt title triumph among his 22 titles on the surface. The win also meant that the 19-time Grand Slam champion has lifted a singles title for a record-extending 17th consecutive season.