David Ferrer defeated Kei Nishikori to claim a record-equaling fourth Mexican Open title on Sunday.
Nishikori, who is set to rise to world number four after reaching the hardcourt final in Acapulco, struggled against his Spanish opponent and, trailing 3-0 in the second set after twice being broken, the 2014 US Open finalist tied in the eighth game and then for 5-5.
But world No. 9, Ferrer, closed out the match 6-3 7-5 in one hour and 49 minutes to draw level with Austrian Thomas Muster on four Mexican titles, having also triumphed three times on clay from 2010 to 2012.
“I played very aggressive, without mistakes,” Ferrer said. “I’m very happy. To win here a fourth time is a dream.
“In important moments, he made more mistakes and I took my chances. I feel very confident with my tennis now. I’ve won three tournaments this year and we’ve only began the season.”
Ferrer has now won three titles this year after Doha and last week’s win in Rio de Janeiro. It was his 24th career title, ending a run of five defeats to Nishikori, whose head-to-head lead over Ferrer has now taken a 7-4 cut.
Swiss Timea Bacsinszky won the women’s crown after a 6-3 6-0 win against France’s Caroline Garcia.