Rafael Nadal continued his perfect start to 2022, beating Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-4 to lift the Acapulco ATP title in his first tournament since winning the Australian Open.
Nadal needed one hour and 54 minutes to beat Britain’s 12th-ranked Norrie for the fourth time in as many career meetings.
“Cameron is a very solid player, he’s a tricky player, he makes you feel that you cannot play comfortable against him at all,” Nadal said. “I had been going through some very difficult moments in the match.”
But the world number five wasn’t too unsettled to claim a 91st career victory, and his fourth in Acapulco after wins in 2005, 2013 and 2020.
As he did in 2020, Nadal won this week without dropping a set.
Nadal is undefeated since losing to Lloyd Harris in the third round at Washington last August 5. He ended his 2021 season after that because of a left foot injury.
He returned to win the Melbourne Summer Set Australian Open tuneup, then won the Australian Open for a second time to break out of a tie with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic for most men’s Grand Slam singles titles ever won.
Nadal gained the lone break of the opening set in the fifth game, pouncing on a couple of Norrie miscues that gave him break point and firing a forehand passing winner up the line to convert.
After they exchanged breaks in the first two games of the second set, Norrie held for a 2-1 lead only for Nadal to roar back with four straight games.
Broken on his first attempt to serve out the match, Nadal made no mistake on his second opportunity.