Just two men remain in contention at the Mexican Open in Acapulco, with both surely desperate to get their hands on what would be their first title of the season. But who will lift the trophy?
Mexican Open Final Prediction
Rafael Nadal vs Taylor Fritz
Head-to-head: first meeting
Rafael Nadal may have seen his hopes of reclaiming the world #1 ranking from his great rival Novak Djokovic disappear in the wake of the Serb’s fine week in Dubai, but he has played some excellent tennis in Acapulco all the same. He opened his campaign with a comprehensive 6-3 6-2 win over his compatriot Pablo Andujar and that set the tone for his week. Nadal has added victories over Miomir Kecmanovic, Kwon Soon-woo and Grigor Dimitrov, all without dropping a set.
Taylor Fritz, meanwhile, has enjoyed one of the finest weeks of his career so far at the Mexican Open. In the first round, he finished strongly to beat John Millman 6-3 5-7 6-1, before dismissing the challenge of Ugo Humbert to reach the quarterfinals. There he dismantled the in-form Kyle Edmund, beating the New York Open champion for the loss of just seven games. In the semifinals, he pulled off a stunning comeback, rallying from a set and 2-4 down to beat his big-serving compatriot John Isner 2-6 7-5 6-4.
But will he be able to go toe-to-toe with the great Nadal? Fritz does have a very fine backhand, slightly unusual for an American, which should aid his cause against the Spaniard. He has also served very well so far in Acapulco which he will need to continue in the final. But Fritz does not boast massive power nor is he particularly comfortable coming forward. As a result, it is hard to see how will be able to consistently hurt Nadal.
The reverse is not true. Nadal’s forehand has been firing all week at the Mexican Open, with the Spaniard clearly enjoying the gritty, high-bouncing surface. He used it to tremendous effect against Dimitrov, who proved entirely unable to live with Nadal. Fritz, who possesses a more solid if less skilful game than the Bulgarian, should be able to offer sterner resistance. But Nadal is nonetheless the heavy favourite coming into this match and should get across the line comfortably enough.
Prediction: Nadal in 2
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