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Nadal plays surging Querrey for Mexican Open title

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ACAPULCO, Mexico — Rafael Nadal routed Marin Cilic 6-1, 6-2 Friday night to advance to the Mexican Open final against Sam Querrey.

Seeking his first title this season and 70th overall, Nadal ran his Mexican Open winning streak to 14 matches. He won the event in 2005 and 2013, when it was played on clay.

Nadal will face the American Querrey, a 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 winner over Australian Nick Kyrgios.

The sixth-ranked Spaniard, playing his first tournament since losing to Roger Federer in the Australian Open final, last won a hardcourt title in January 2014 in Doha.

“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 the late game, the 40th-ranked Querrey continued an inspired week in which he defeated No. 11 David Goffin, No. 9 Dominic Thiem and now No. 17 Kyrgios, who upset second-ranked Novak Djokovic on Thursday.

Querrey ended Thiem’s seven-match winning streak.

“It does not get any easier tomorrow, it will be the toughest test,” Querrey said. “I played great today, but I need to play even better tomorrow to beat Nadal”.

The American will try to win his ninth title, and first since Delray Beach in 2016. Querrey is 0-4 against Nadal.

In the women’s semifinal, second-seed Kristina Mladenovic of France beat American Christina McHale 7-5, 4-6, 6-2. Ukraine’s Lesiia Tsurenko led top-seeded Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia 5-0 when Lucic-Baroni retired because of a stomach virus.

Top-seeded John Isner wins 3rd Hall of Fame title

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NEWPORT, R.I. — Top-seeded John Isner beat Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden 6-3, 7-6 (4) on Sunday for his third Hall of Fame Open title.

The hard-serving American also won the grass-court event in 2011 and 2012. He has 11th career titles, all at the ATP World Tour 250 level.

“It’s hard to win a tournament,” Isner said. “It’s no small feat to come out here and be the last man standing. I’m very happy about that. It’s been two years since I won a tournament, so I had that weighing on my mind.”

Isner became the second player to win an ATP title without facing a break point since records began in 1991. Tommy Haas also accomplished the feat in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2007.

“I’m very happy with how I played all week,” Isner said. “It was a perfect week and I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Ebden was playing his first tour-level final.

“It’s a lot of reward for a lot of hard work, a lot of years of sacrifice,” Ebden said. “It’s disappointing, but at the same time I have to be happy with my week.”

Roddick, Clijsters among Tennis Hall of Fame inductees

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NEWPORT, R.I. — Andy Roddick says jokingly he can now keep Roger Federer from a unanimous selection for the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

As a new inductee, Roddick gets to vote on future candidates. He jested ahead of his enshrinement on Saturday that he’ll use it to get back at Federer, who stood in his way during at least four Grand Slam finals.

Roddick joins inductees Kim Clijsters, six-time Paralympic medalist Monique Kalkman and journalist and historian Steve Flink. Tennis instructor and innovator Vic Braden was to be inducted posthumously.

Roddick won one Grand Slam and lost to Federer in the finals four times. He says he doesn’t ask himself what would have happened if he hadn’t come along at the same time of perhaps the greatest player.

He says the first text he got when he woke up Saturday was from Federer. Says Roddick: “He makes it extremely hard not to like him as a person.”