With his country at war with the Ukraine, Russian Daniil Medvedev had little to offer Rafael Nadal in their semifinal showdown last night in Acapulco.
Nadal rolled to a 6-3, 6-3 win to reach his fifth Acapulco final.
Medvedev looked rattled early, still having flashbacks to how things ended last month in Australia. Nadal was cool, like he had figured out the Medvedev puzzle in Melbourne, and he pounded away off the ground, forcing the deeper Medvedev to play defense.
The misfiring Medvedev even resorted serve-and-volleying, but without success.
After getting dominated in the first, Medvedev played better in the second, but break attempt after break attempt all failed (11 in total) put an end to Medvedev’s hopes.
“I played some amazing points on the break points,” said Nadal who is now 14-0 on the year. “The second set was very emotional. Daniil was playing very aggressive, drop shots, winners. It was a very difficult set. I feel lucky to win that set because he had a lot of chances.”
Medvedev is ascend to No. 1, but we all know who the real No. 1 in 2022 is. He’s now 1-5 against Nadal.
“I don’t think that I played great today,” Medvedev said. “My whole level on the match was not good enough to play against a player like Rafa. There’s not such a thing that I can take from this. To be honest, I need to change everything I did today. I feel like I was missing some energy today.”
Nadal will now meet fellow lefty Cameron Norrie for the title. The Brit stunned Stefanos Tsitsipas in routine fashion 6-4, 6-4 to win his 8th straight match after his Delray Beach title last week over Reilly Opelka.
The favored Tsitsipas failed to breakthrough the sturdy Norrie defense. Norrie grabbed late breaks in both sets to win it in just 78 minutes.
“In general, my forehand very loopy, my backhand very flat,” Norrie said. “I was able to dictate play to his backhand and defend my forehand quite well. I definitely felt that better in the second set, and I think my game is pretty good in these conditions.”
Nadal leads Norrie 3-0 (8-0 in sets) with all three meetings in 2021.
“His level of tennis is huge. He improved a lot at the beginning of last year, and this year he continues,” Nadal said.
“It’s going to be a big challenge, but we are in the final of a 500 here in Acapulco, so can’t expect an easy opponent. I’m excited about being in the final.”
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For sure not a fan of Med now. Congrats Rafa.
February 26th, 2022 at 4:44 pm