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Rafael Nadal advances to the Mexican Open final

Associated Press logo Associated Press 04-03-2017
Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating Croatia's Marini Cilic during a semifinal match of the Mexican Tennis Open in Acapulco, Mexico, Friday, March 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Enric Marti) © The Associated Press Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating Croatia's Marini Cilic during a semifinal match of the Mexican Tennis Open in Acapulco, Mexico, Friday, March 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Enric Marti)

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 or Australian Nick Kyrgios in the final. Nadal 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 women's play, second-seed Kristina Mladenovic of France beat American Christina McHale 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 and will play against Ukrainian Lesiia Tsurenko, who qualified for the final when Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia retired with an injury in the first set.

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