After an hour and 34 minutes, Sam Querrey threw his racket in the air from joy. He had just beaten Rafael Nadal 6-3 7-6(3), Querrey’s first win over the Spaniard in his career. He won his second ATP 500, but this is definitely the American’s most impressive title.
The main key to victory for Querrey was definitely his serve. Out of the 75 total points that the American won in the final, 19 of them were aces. He also won 81% of points after his 1st serve, and 63% after his 2nd serve, both numbers being above average. Querrey also saved all six of the break points he faced, and won one out of two break points. During the tiebreak, Querrey managed to keep a cool head as the crowd was openly cheering for Nadal, but dealt with it excellently, winning the second set tiebreak 7-3.
Querrey’s road to the title was incredibly difficult, starting with a tough 6-2 4-6 6-3 win over Kyle Edmund. However, he lost only one more set from there, beating 5th seed David Goffin and 4th seed Dominic Thiem back-to-back in straight sets, being the underdog in both matches. Next up was 6th seed Nick Kyrgios, fresh off upsetting Novak Djokovic in quarterfinals. Querrey kept on going, grinding out a 3-6 6-1 7-5 win, setting up a final match against 2nd seed Rafael Nadal, whom he had never beaten before. Nadal was looking for his title No. 70 in Acapulco, but he will have to wait more, as Querrey didn’t allow the 14-time Grand Slam champion to play his game, and won in straight sets.
Thanks to these 500 points, Sam Querrey will rise from No. 40 to No. 26 in the rankings, making him the No. 3 American behind Jack Sock (No. 18) and John Isner (No. 21). After Indian Wells and Miami, Querrey is also scheduled to play the event in Houston, where he will be among the favorites to pick up his second title of the year.