Nadal beats new world No 1 Medvedev to win 14th match in a row
Nadal saves all 11 break points for his fifth win over Medvedev in six career meetings
Less than a month after their epic Australian Open final, Rafael Nadal defeated Daniil Medvedev for the second time in a row: this time in a two-hour two-set battle to reach the final of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel Open. The win maintained Nadal’s perfect start to the 2022 season as the Spaniard won his 14th match in a row, following titles at the Melbourne Summer Set and the Australian Open.
Nadal started off the match stronger, breaking Medvedev’s serve in the fourth game to set up a 4-1 lead. The Russian managed to hold serve in a long sixth game but was unable to earn a single break point on Nadal’s serve as the Spaniard won the first set 6-3.
Nadal saves all 11 break points in the second set
Nadal began the second set with another break to go up 2-0. The Russian finally managed to get his foot inside the match in the fourth game as he earned three break points but Nadal found a way to hold for a 3-1 lead after six deuces.
As Medvedev began to fins his range, he pressed Nadal even harder on the Spaniard’s next service game, earning seven break point opportunities. Nadal saved each one of them and finally held after nine deuces and more than 19 minutes to go up 4-2.
Serving at 5-3 in the second set to stay in the match, Medvedev had four chances to hold serve and make Nadal serve it out, but the Spaniard pushed the Russian once again and broke on his second match point to complete the 6-3, 6-3 win in one hour and 59 minutes.
Other than the break point conversions, Nadal’s second serve also helped him through. The Spaniard won 65 percent of his second serve points as compared to only 25 percent for Medvedev.
Nadal will meet Cameron Norrie in Sunday’s final, after the Brit defeated world No 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 in the first semi-final of the day. The Spaniard holds a 3-0 lead over Norrie, winning all of their matches in straight sets so far.
Despite the loss, Medvedev will ascend to the world No 1 spot for the first time in his career on Monday, making him the 27th man to top the rankings in men’s tennis.