ACAPULCO, Mexico: Unseeded American Sam Querrey stunned second-seeded Rafael Nadal 6-3, 7-6 (3) on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) to win the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Mexico Open and end the Spaniard’s run of perfection in Acapulco.
Querrey, ranked 40th in the world, fired 19 aces en route to his first career victory over Nadal in five meetings. The Spaniard, winner in Acapulco in 2005 and 2013, had never even lost a set in Acapulco.
Querrey captured his ninth ATP title in an impressive week that saw him beat four top-10 players — Belgian David Goffin, Austrian Dominic Thiem, Australian Nick Kyrgios and sixth-ranked Nadal.
He’s projected to return to the top 30 in the world rankings on Monday.
Nadal, playing his first tournament since falling to Roger Federer in five sets in the Australian Open final, was denied his first hard court title since Doha in 2014.
Querrey surrendered just four points on his serve in the opening set and he broke Nadal at love to seize a 5-3 advantage.
He served it out comfortably, firing a forehand winner on his second set point after just half an hour.
Nadal made more inroads in the second set, but couldn’t convert any of his six break chances.
That included five in the eighth game — three of which Querrey neutralized with aces.
They went on serve to the tiebreaker, where Nadal faltered first.
A brace of baseline errors from Nadal gave Querrey a 6-3 lead and a chance to serve for the title, with Nadal sending a forehand long on the American’s first match point.