Rafael Nadal completed his South American swing at the Monumental Plaza de Toros in Mexico City, beating Casper Ruud in front of 40,000 people! It was the fifth duel between two great friends in the last two weeks, previously competing in Buenos Aires, Belo Horizonte, Quito, Bogotá and Mexico City.
Rafa notched four wins and concluded the series with a 7-6, 6-4 victory in front of delighted Mexican fans. The first duel came in Buenos Aires, and Nadal scored a 7-6, 6-2 win at Arena Parque Roca. Ruud grabbed a break in the fifth game of the opener and Nadal picked up the break in the eighth game.
The Spaniard saved three set points in the tiebreaker and secured it 10-8 with a big winner. Nadal broke Ruud in games three and five of the second set 4-1 and held level in game eight to seal the deal. They met again at Belo Horizonte’s Mineirinho Arena, with Rafa prevailing 7-6, 7-5 after digging deep in both sets.
Rafael Nadal ended his South American tour with four wins over Casper Ruud.
Casper finally beat Rafa for the first time in Quito, winning 6-4, 6-4 to hand over Nadal’s first swing loss. The Spaniard bounced back in Bogota, playing well in front of the Colombian fans and scoring a 7-6, 6-4 win.
The last duel came in Mexico City, and it was another entertaining night of tennis between world no. 2 and the world no. 3. Nadal kicked off the action with a 15-hold hold in the first game after a service winner. Ruud responded with a blank key in the second game to put his name on the scoreboard.
The Norwegian closed out the fourth game after two, and the Spaniard claimed an entertaining point with a 3-2 net winner. Rafa extended the sixth game with a winning lob before Casper took advantage of it after forcing the opponent’s error.
Nadal fired a forehand shot in the seventh game to stop the zero, and Ruud followed that pace with a serve winner in the next. A 22 Major winner launched a forehand down the line winner in the ninth game, and the no.
3 held at 15 in the following by 5-5 and more drama. Rafa landed another forehand winner in game 11, and Casper introduced a tiebreaker after an ace in the next. Nadal went up 3-1 with a great winner and hit a game-winning volley to make it 4-2.
Ruud grabbed the next three points and opened a 5-4 lead after Nadal’s double fault. Rafa kept his cool and created set point at 5-5. He squandered it after a double fault before moving ahead 7-6 with a game-winning volley into the net.
Casper denied it with a service winner, and Rafa won the next two points 9-7. Nadal earned a point after a tweener in the third game of the second set and saved a break point in the next to make it 2-2. Rafa fired a forehand down the line winner in game eight to make it 4-4 and broke the next one after Casper’s loose forehand. Nadal served for the win in the tenth game and sealed the deal with a big winner that took him over the top.