Querrey Shocks Nadal to Win Mexican Open

by John on March 5, 2017

Sam Querrey stunned No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the final of the Mexican Open at Acapulco last night in a brilliant display of heavy-hitting tennis. The 29-year-old American’s first win in five tries against Nadal ended the Spaniard’s 14-match win streak at Acapulco, where he had won the title in 2005 and 2013. Querrey knocked off four Top 20 players en route to hoisting the championship trophy, beating No. 11-ranked David Goffin in the second round, No. 9 Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals and No. 17 Nick Kyrgios in the semifinals. Nadal was ranked No. 6 coming into the tournament. Querrey had gone 0-7 against Top 20 players since beating Novak Djokovic in the third round of Wimbledon last year. The 40th-ranked American’s bazooka-like serve and power from the back of the court proved too much for Nadal to handle. “After the match against Goffin, I knew I could go far here if I continued to play at that level,” Querrey said. “My forehand and backhand were great and my serve bailed me out of trouble when I needed it.” Routine service holds prevailed through the first seven games of the match, before Querrey broke at love in the eighth. A forehand winner on Querrey’s second set point sealed the opener for the American. Nadal, as he usually does when his back is against the wall, dug in and began to pressure Querrey’s serve with some regularity from the outset of the second set. The Spaniard forced five break-point opportunities in the eighth game, but Querrey erased them all, including three with aces. Four more holds led to a tiebreaker. Nadal blinked first, suffering mini-breaks on the eighth and ninth points, allowing Querrey to serve it out. The 6-foot-6 jumped for joy in celebration after one hour and 34 minutes of power-packed action. “It’s definitely a tournament that I’m going to remember for the rest of my life,” Querrey said. “It’s just one of those weeks where I got in the zone and everything was working for me. I hope I can have more like this.” Querrey served 19 aces and won 81 percent of the points on his first service. He saved six of six break points, while Nadal defended one of two. “I played under a lot of pressure because of his serve and baseline game. They were really fantastic and very aggressive,” Nadal said. “He left me with very few options, and the few I had he also played good. I have to congratulate him.”

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