Rafael Nadal news: Cameron Norrie fails to halt Spaniard’s perfect start to 2022

Kevin Palmer
Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal’s sensational start to 2022 continued as he stormed to victory in the Mexican Open with a win against Britain’s Cameron Norrie in the final.

Nadal claimed his fourth title in Acapulco with a 6-4 6-4 win, backing up his stunning Australian Open title triumph last month with another win on the ATP Tour.

Norrie, fresh from triumphing over world number four Stefanos Tsitsipas, was the first to drop his serve as Nadal pulled away 3-2 in the opener before claiming the set.

Norrie was broken in the opening game of the next set before he hit back to be a 1-1, but the world number five broke him again in the fifth game to go ahead 3-2.

Nadal broke Norrie a third time to take a 5-2 lead, yet the younger man rallied to pull a break back before running out of energy to fall 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 54 minutes.

“I went through some very difficult moments during the match that I was able to save, and then I took advantage when I had the chances,” said Nadal, who is both the youngest and oldest champion at the event.

“I’m very pleased. It was a very important title for me, so I can’t be happier.

“Cameron is a very solid player, a tricky player. He makes you feel that you cannot play comfortably against him at all.

“Today the most important thing is that I have won a prestigious tournament. This is a tournament that started with five of the top six players in the world.

“It was complicated, and I ended up taking the victory. Looking back, a few weeks ago this would have looked impossible.

“It’s amazing how things can change in such a short span, from not being able to practice and now to be where I am today.

“It’s been a long career. The first time I came here, everything was new for me, and after all these years you start to appreciate more each victory than when you were an 18-year-old boy.”

Nadal’s four titles – he has previously won in 2005, 2013 and 2020 – have him equal with David Ferrer and Thomas Muster as the most successful male players at Acapulco.