Querrey downs Nadal
to claim Acapulco title
E.J. Crawford | March 5, 2017
Sam Querrey wrapped up one of the finest weeks of his 11-year professional career Saturday evening in Acapulco, Mexico, downing world No. 6 Rafael Nadal, 6-3, 7-6, to win the Mexican Open.
The 6-3, 7-6(3) victory over the No. 2 seed and 14-time Grand Slam champion came on the heels of wins earlier in the week over No. 5 seed and world No. 11 David Goffin in the second round, No. 4 seed and world No. 9 Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals, and No. 6 seed and world No. 17 Nick Kyrgios in the semis. Querrey, who entered the event unseeded and ranked No. 40 in the world, dropped just one set in those four matches.
The 29-year-old Californian kicked off his tournament by defeating world No. 45 Kyle Edmund in the first round.
"After the match against Goffin, I knew I could go far here if I continued to play at that level," Querrey told atpworldtour.com. "My forehand and backhand were great and my serve bailed me out of trouble when I needed it. I felt like I had a lot of support throughout the week and everyone has been so kind. It's been a pleasure to play here."
The victory in Acapulco was Querrey’s ninth tour title and his seventh on hard courts. He is the first American to win the event in its 24-year- history.
The tournament title also registers as the third in three weeks for American men. Two weeks ago, Ryan Harrison won his maiden ATP crown in Memphis, and last week Jack Sock took home the trophy in Delray Beach.
Querrey entered Saturday's match 0-4 against Nadal in his career, but he served well from the start and broke the match open at 3-3 in the first set, winning 11 consecutive points to pull ahead to a one-set lead. He maintained his level in set No. 2, consistently serving his way out of trouble – he saved five break points at 3-4 and delivered 19 aces in the match – and won the last four points of the encounter to seal his first ATP 500-level title since Memphis in 2010.
"It's definitely a tournament that I'm going to remember for the rest of my life," said Querrey, who is projected to move to No. 26 in Monday's rankings, his best standing since August 2013. "It's just one of those weeks where I got in the zone and everything was working for me. I hope I can have more like this."