Rafael Nadal news: Soon to be World no 1 falls to Spanish icon

Rafael Nadal in action

Rafael Nadal triumphed in his Mexican Open semifinal against World No 1 to be Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-3 but the scoreline doesn’t tell the full story.

It took nearly two hours for Nadal to battle his way through those two sets.

Nadal had taken the first set in relatively straightforward fashion and was clearly on top but Medvedev fought back early in the second.

Medvedev seemed to draw the best tennis out of Nadal who rose to save a string of break points in the second set.

“I played some amazing points on the break points,” said Nadal, who noted that the high bounce on the stadium court helped his game. “The second set was very emotional. Daniil was playing very aggressive — drop shots, winners. It was a very difficult set. I feel lucky to win that set because he had a lot of chances.”

The Russian earned 11 break points across two Nadal service games but was unable to cash in on any of them.

Nadal had clearly happened onto his winning gameplan against Medvedev starting as he had finished their Australian Open final.

The Spaniard controlled the baseline forcing Medvedev to become inventive in a bid to get back into the match.

The pair played six-deuce and nine-deuce games on Nadal’s serve early in the second. However, Nadal blended aggression and patience with perfection, once again showing his resilience and determination when faced with a testing foe.

Nadal has now won 18 sets in a row in Acapulco having improved his overall record at the Mexican Open to 24-2.

He will face Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie in the Mexican Open final, and expects another tough match.

“His level of tennis is huge. He improved a lot at the beginning of last year, and this year he continues,” Nadal said of his final opponent, who overcame third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, 6-4, 6-4, earlier on Friday.

“It’s going to be a big challenge, but we are in the final of a 500 here in Acapulco, so cant expect an easy opponent. I’m excited about being in the final.”