Tennis: Nadal races into Acapulco ATP final

Rafael Nadal
Two-time champion Rafael Nadal rolled into the final of the ATP Mexico Open on Friday with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Croatian Marin Cilic that extended the Spaniard’s unbeaten record in Acapulco.

Second-seeded Nadal, playing his first tournament since falling to Roger Federer in an epic five-set final at the Australian Open in January, has won all 14 matches he has played in Acapulco, where he lifted the trophy in 2005 and 2013.

Nadal will face either sixth-seeded Australian Nick Kyrgios or American Sam Querrey in the final. Kyrgios stunned world number two and top seed Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

Nadal roared through the opening set against Cilic, building a 5-0 lead before the Croatian, who advanced to the semi-finals on a walkover when scheduled opponent Steve Johnson withdrew, showed signs of life with a service hold for 5-1.

The third-seeded Croatian seized a 0-40 lead on Nadal in the next game, but the Spaniard saved four break points to hold for the opening set.

After receiving treatment on his right ankle, Cilic promptly dropped his serve to open the second set, and while he mustered break chances in each of Nadal’s first three service games of the second set, he couldn’t convert.

Nadal, firing on all cylinders with his forehand, muscled two winners past Cilic as he broke again for a 5-2 lead and served it out without a hiccup.

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