RAFAEL NADAL is through to the final of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel after defeating Daniil Medvedev in straight sets.
Rafael Nadal scored his second win over Daniil Medvedev in under a month at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel. It was a much more straightforward affair compared to their Australian Open final as the Spaniard came through 6-3 6-3 and issued an injury update as he fired a warning to Novak Djokovic and his other rivals over his current form, which has seen him start his season with a 14-0 win-loss record.
Less than a month after Nadal and Medvedev met in an epic five-set thriller of an Australian Open final, their paths crossed again.
The world No 5 had the edge after mounting an incredible comeback from two sets down in Melbourne to become the first man in history to win a record 21st Grand Slam title.
This time he only needed two hours to overcome the soon-to-be world No 1 6-3 6-3 in the Mexico Open semi-final, and after the match he admitted he was happy to produce such a dominant display.
A single break in the fourth game of the opener proved crucial as the Spaniard raced to take the first set in 48 minutes.
After carrying his momentum into the second set by breaking in the first game, Nadal started to face some pushback from a resurgent Medvedev and was forced to save three break points at 2-1, then saving another seven in an epic game at 3-2.
The recent Aussie Open champion managed to hold on and broke in the final came to close out a 6-3 6-3 victory over the man who will become the new world No 1 when the rankings update on Monday.
After extending his 2022 winning streak to 14 wins in a row and 0 losses, Nadal admitted that the victory was a sign of his current level as he fired a warning to his rivals to confirm he was only getting better after winning the Australian Open.
“I played against the No 1 of the world on his favorite surface,” the 35-year-old said, referencing Medvedev’s new ranking which came as a result of Djokovic’s shock Dubai quarter-final loss.
“This win confirms that things are going in a very positive way after Australia, that means a lot and I’m very happy.”
While the 21-time Grand Slam champion was glad to see his level from Melbourne hadn’t dropped, he made a worrying admission about his ongoing foot injury.
Nadal was forced to end his 2021 season early over the injury but has since won all 14 matches and counting that he has played since his six-month lay-off.
And the world No 5 admitted that there were no real solutions for the problem despite his current run of form.
Speaking about the issue that kept him out for the back-end of the 2021 season, Nadal said: “As you know I have a problem with my foot that doesn’t have much of solutions. Sometimes I have better days, sometimes bad ones.”
But the 35-year-old was happy to finally be able to play good tennis despite his injury woes after struggling for so long.
“Is positive that I’m able to handle it and I can play without limitations after a year and a half where I was not able to do so,” he added.
Nadal will face Britain’s Cameron Norrie in the final of the Acapulco ATP 500 on Saturday evening local time.
The world No 12 dispatched third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 6-4 in their own semi-final.