Nadal dominates Fritz for 3rd Mexican Open title


Rafael Nadal raced to victory in the Mexican Open on Saturday night, dispatching Taylor Fritz in straight sets in Acapulco.

The 33-year-old Spaniard dropped his racquet, launched his arms in elation and looked up into the night after a 6-3, 6-2 triumph on a hard court against the overmatched 22-year-old American.

Nadal finished 63% in first serves and went 3-of-7 on break points. It was his third career title at the Mexican Open, having also won in 2005 and 2013. Overall, it was his 85th career championship, and the first of this season.

“I couldn’t be happier,” Nadal said. “I played a great event from the beginning to the end. Acapulco was the first big title that I won in my career, so to be able to stay here after 15 years is amazing. I can’t thank enough the people who make me feel at home every single time.”

Fritz managed 10 aces in the loss, and had no double faults, yet couldn’t keep up with Nadal’s combination of efficiency and power.

“He’s one of the best players to ever play the game, and he showed me why that is tonight,” Fritz said. “This is one of my favorite tournaments to come to every year. I’m just glad that I could have a good week at one of my favorite events. I felt a lot of love all week.”

In the women’s final, Great Britain’s Heather Watson defeated 17-year-old qualifier Leylah Annie Fernandez, 6-4, 6-7 (8), 6-1,

It was the fourth career title for Watson, 27, but it was not easy. In the second set, Fernandez, of Canada, fought off five championship points to extend that match to a third set.

“I’m really pleased with how I just kept it together mentally,” Watson said, “and just kept on fighting.”

The title is Watson’s first since winning the Monterrey Open in March 2016.

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