Rafael Nadal eased into the Acapulco semifinals hammering Soonwoo Kwon 6-2, 6-1 late-night in Mexico.
”The match has been much tougher than what the result said. I think it was a beautiful match to see,” Nadal said. “It was a good match against a tough opponent. I think he’s going to have a very good tennis career.”
The 22-year-old Kwon drops to 0-3 in his short career against Top 20 players.
The 2-time champion Nadal, now 18-2 in Acapulco with two titles, will now meet Grigor Dimitrov. The Bulgarian, who survived two match points Wednesday night against Adrian Mannarino, had a much easier evening dispatching Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-4.
”I’ve played quite a few times against Stan and we’ve practiced together so many times. Between us, it’s mainly a mental battle,” Dimitrov said. “I had lost the past five times against him, but those losses have inspired me. Those losses helped me. Even though it hurts saying it, I’m admitting it. I wanted to stand tall tonight.”
Nadal leads Dimitrov 12-1.
“Finished last year much better than how he had played the rest of that year. He started to play some good tennis and is showing it here, winning some very good matches,” Nadal said of Dimitrov. “I’m going to need my best and I hope I’m ready to make it happen.”
Americans Taylor Fritz and John Isner will battle in the early semifinal. Fritz foiled Kyle Edmund 6-4, 6-3 while Isner ousted Tommy Paul 6-2 in the third.
Isner’s won two of three against Fritz.
”I’m expecting a really good match. Taylor is confident every time he takes the court,” Isner said. “He’s an absolute gamer and I respect the heck out of him. He straps on his shoes and goes to battle.”
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