Twelve years after winning his first Acapulco title, Rafael Nadal fought for another in 2017. The Spaniard failed to lift the trophy following a 6-3, 7-6 loss to Sam Querrey. The American had a notable week in Acapulco, passing challenging tests and securing his ninth ATP title.
Sam overcame four seeds, beating David Goffin, Dominic Thiem, Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal to earn his first ATP 500 title in a career. Also, Querrey became the first American to lift the trophy in Acapulco. Sam fired 19 aces against Rafa and won the most crucial points, including six break points he saved in the second set.
Heading to Acapulco after losing that epic Australian Open final to Roger Federer, Rafa scored four commanding wins to secure a place in the final. However, he could not find his A-game against Sam, facing only two break points and still finishing on the losing side.
Qurrey’s serve made a considerable difference, hitting a lot of free winners from his initial shot and making Nadal uncomfortable and nervous. The American showed clutch in the second set’s eighth game, saving five break points and remaining on the positive side.
Querrey failed to find his first serve in the tie break, but his forehand worked like a charm to keep the pressure on Nadal. Thus, Nadal missed another chance to win his first ATP hard-court title since Doha 2014! Also, Querrey became the first American to beat Nadal after Mardy Fish in Cincinnati 2011, with the Spaniard winning the previous 16 encounters against the rivals from the USA.
Both players found a nice rhythm on serve from the encounter’s first game, delivering seven comfortable holds to stay neck and neck. Nadal failed to crack the rival’s initial shot and create chances. Instead, Querrey stole Nadal’s serve in game eight.
He hit two winners, including the one from the return in the final point, and embraced two significant errors from the Spaniard to jump 5-3 in front. Sam closed the opening set with another comfortable hold in game nine.
Rafael Nadal lost the 2017 Acapulco final to Sam Querrey.
He smashed a forehand winner in the last point to take the opener 6-3, playing flawless tennis and leaving Nadal with much work in set number two.
After a fast and fluid opener, the second set brought more drama, with four games going to deuce and a break chance for each player in games two and three. They repelled them to stay close to each other until game eight when Nadal had the last opportunity to move in front.
The Spaniard created five break points, eager to move in front and gain momentum. Sam saved the first with an ace, and Rafa netted a straightforward backhand on the second that could have given him a significant break. The American was far from the safe zone but was not to be denied.
He defended two more break chances with good serves and one with a beautiful backhand attack. Querrey finally held after another service winner that gave him a tremendous boost ahead of the set’s closing stages. Nadal could have also moved forward early in the tie break but failed to control the rival’s second serves.
Querrey ripped two forehand winners on his next two second serves to keep the initial shot safe. He made the first mini-break in the eighth point with a deep return and went 5-3 in front to get closer to the finish line. The American endured a rally to score another mini-break, building a 6-3 advantage and bringing the victory home in the next point when Nadal’s forehand landed long to celebrate the title.