Djokovic out of ATP Acapulco
Novak Djokovic returns a shot to Nick Kyrgios’s during their match in Acapulco
05 March, 2017, 04:00
Nadal, after his agonising defeat to Roger Federer in the five-setter final at the Australian Open earlier this year, has been in sublime form in the ongoing tournament, decimating lower-ranked opponents Mischa Zverev, Paolo Lorenzi and Yoshihito Nishioka and Cilic, enroute to the title match.
He saved two set points to win the first-set tie-break, while taking advantage of the only chance he had to break Djokovic's serve in the second set.
"I have to be playing well to win like this against a player like Marin, so I'm pleased with the performance", Nadal commented.
Rafael Nadal rolled into the final of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel with a 6-1, 6-2 beatdown of Marin Cilic on Friday night.
In women's play, second-seed Kristina Mladenovic of France beat American Christina McHale 7-5, 4-6, 6-2.
World No 2 Novak Djokovic has been knocked out of the ATP Acapulco event in Mexico in the quarter-finals by 21-year-old Nick Kyrgios.
Nadal will be seeking his 70th overall title and first this season in Saturday's final. The Spaniard leads the series against Cilic 3-1, but they haven't played since the Basel quarterfinals in 2015, when Nadal won 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Querrey reached the semifinals in Acapulco for the second year in a row.
Nadal has won all four of their past meetings, with the most recent being a straight set win at the Madrid Masters in 2016.
Rafa started hard and in 25 minutes he was 5-0 in the first set, after defending his service on three occasions and twice breaking Cilic's service.
For Djokovic, it marked another setback in his quest to return to the top of the men's game having been toppled by Andy Murray late previous year.
Querrey ended Thiem's seven-match winning streak.
Johnson pulled out of his scheduled quarterfinals on the hardcourts with a right ankle injury he said he sustained in his victory over Ernesto Escobedo on Wednesday.