Rafael Nadal entered the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC with low expectations. Then once more, he stated the identical forward of the Australian Open.
In his first motion since his record-breaking twenty first Grand Slam title, the Acapulco fourth seed picked up the place he left off with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Denis Kudla on Tuesday. Nadal was in command all through on the Mexican arduous courtroom and confirmed few indicators of rust after three weeks out of competitors.
With the win, he matches his finest begin to an ATP Tour season at 11-0. Nadal additionally received 11 straight matches to start out the 2014 season, earlier than shedding to Stan Wawrinka within the Australian Open closing.
“It has been a optimistic match. I feel I began enjoying nicely, a superb victory in straight units. That is at all times very optimistic for the arrogance,” he stated post-match. “I feel I performed a really stable match for the primary day. After all there are a few issues that I can do higher, however typically phrases, I performed nicely so I can not complain in any respect.”
Stable if not spectacular, Nadal displayed his typical baseline dominance as he eased into the match and the match, exhibiting endurance within the rallies and taking the offensive when probabilities got here.
He dropped simply 4 factors on serve within the match and spent the majority of it in cruise management after early breaks in each units soothed any nerves.
Two flashes of brilliance early in set two delighted the group, although Kudla managed to carry on to his opening service recreation. A roped forehand return winner was adopted by an inside-out line-clipper to conclude a basic Nadal transition from defence to assault.
However Kudla couldn’t maintain on for much longer towards the regular assault off the Spaniard’s racquet. After erasing the slightest of openings at 0-1, 15/30, Nadal didn’t drop one other level on serve, successful 5 straight video games as he moved by the gears.
One other forehand winner, his sixteenth of the match off that wing, sealed victory in a single hour, 13 minutes.
This one goes to 1️1️ 💪@RafaelNadal zooms previous Denis Kudla 6-3 6-2 in Acapulco to enhance to 11-0 on the season.#AMT2022 pic.twitter.com/XaOXvI9wYv
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) February 23, 2022
Along with matching his personal-best begin to a season, Nadal additionally extends his Acapulco win streak to 6 matches following his title run in 2020. Now 21-2 lifetime on the occasion, Nadal additionally triumphed in 2005 and 2013, with the latter being the match’s final 12 months on clay. All 21 of his wins have are available in straight units.
Nadal will subsequent face fortunate loser Stefan Kozlov, his Monday observe companion. The American had an journey of a first-round win towards Grigor Dimitrov, stopping a observe set with Nadal upon receiving late phrase that he had a spot in the principle draw.
Kozlov’s Acapulco Odyssey: Jet Ski Rescue, Borrowed Clothes & Standing Up Rafa
“It might be superb, it could be an amazing honour for me,” Kozlov stated of a possible second-round encounter with Nadal. “I feel he’s a improbable particular person, and I’ve nice respect for him. I’ll actually take pleasure in it, positively.”
Quickly after Nadal sealed victory, Nice Britain’s Cameron Norrie prolonged a win streak of his personal to advance on Tuesday evening. Recent off his Delray Seashore title, the Acapulco sixth seed made it 5 wins (and 7 units) on the trot with a 7-6(5), 6-2 win over Germany’s Daniel Altmaier.
Norrie twice got here again from a break down in an eventful opening set, breaking at like to cease his opponent from serving out the body at 5-4. That ended a run of three video games towards serve and began the World No. 12’s ascent within the match. Norrie by no means trailed within the tie-break and by no means trailed within the second set due to an instantaneous break of serve.
He’ll face John Isner subsequent within the second spherical, after the American’s 7-5, 6-7(4), 7-6(3) win over wild card Fernando Verdasco on Monday.