ACAPULCO, MEXICO – Rafael Nadal routed Croatia’s Marin Cilic 6-1, 6-2 on Friday night to advance to the Mexican Open final.
Seeking his first title this season and 70th overall, the 30 year-old Spaniard ran his Mexican Open winning streak to 14 matches and 28 sets. He won the hardcourt event in 2005 and 2013.
The second-seeded Nadal, playing his first tournament since losing to Roger Federer in the Australian Open final, will face American Sam Querrey in the final. Querrey beat Australia’s Nick Krygios 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 in their semifinal.
“You need to have a great day to get a result like this against Cilic,” Nadal said. “Anytime you play against someone like Cilic you expect to suffer in a tight match, but it was not like that. I believe that he had his chances, but I played a good game.”
In Dubai, top-ranked Andy Murray reached his second final of the season with a dominant 7-5, 6-1 win over seventh-seeded Lucas Pouille at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Friday.
Murray, who lost the Qatar Open final to Novak Djokovic in January, should feel confident of a 45th career title when he faces the unseeded Fernando Verdasco in Saturday’s final. Nadal has a 12-1 career record against the Spaniard.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5