When contentious Aussie Nick Kyrgios beat former No. 1 Novak Djokovic in their career-first meeting in the Mexican Open quarterfinals, then dissed American Sam Querrey, it could have been the beginning of the end.
Kyrgios beat Djokovic, then was asked to assess his semifinal with Querrey, who he had beaten in his only career meeting, saying to paraphrase: ‘American, big serve, I’ve seen that before.’
Querrey beat Kyrgios in the semifinals, then topped former No. 1 Rafael Nadal 6-3, 7-6(6) in the Sunday final in Acapulco to become the first American champion in the tournament’s 25-year history to raise the trophy at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel.
“It’s just one of those weeks where I got in the zone and everything was working for me,” Querrey said. “I hope I can have more like this.”
It was Querrey’s first win over Nadal in five matches for his ninth career title, and he will climb to the edge of entering the Top 25 again.
“My forehand and backhand were great and my serve bailed me out of trouble when I needed it,” Querrey said. “I felt like I had a lot of support throughout the week and everyone has been so kind. It’s been a pleasure to play here.”
Nadal fell to 0-2 in 2017 finals.
“He played very well, almost reaching perfection,” said Nadal. “I played under a lot of pressure because of his serve and baseline game. He left me with very few options, and the few I had he also played good. I have to congratulate him. I’m also very happy with my week and my game.”
Querrey is 9-7 in career finals, winning his first title since 2016 Delray Beach, and his second title in the last five years.
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