LOS ANGELES (AFP) - World No. 2 Rafael Nadal captured his first title of 2020, easily defeating unseeded Taylor Fritz in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, in the final of the ATP Mexico Open on Saturday.
The 33-year-old, playing in his first tournament since losing in the quarter-finals at the Australian Open last month, did not drop a set all week and improved to 19-2 all-time at this event.
He nabbed his third Mexico Open title to go with victories in 2013 and 2005.
Nadal wasted no time figuring out Fritz's game in the first career meeting between the two.
The 19-time Grand Slam winner made eight unforced errors and needed just one ace but it came in the final game of the second set to get to championship point.
Nadal closed it out with a blistering serve that handcuffed Fritz for his 85th career title.
He has won at least one title for 17 consecutive years.
The Spaniard ceded the world No. 1 ranking to Novak Djokovic after the Australian Open, where the Serb won a record eighth title.
Nadal could have regained the top spot with a win in Acapulco, but he also needed Djokovic to fail to reach the final in this week's Dubai event.
Djokovic extended his win streak to 21 matches by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4 earlier on Saturday to lift the Dubai trophy.