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Nadal and Zverev through in Acapulco, Kyrgios booed as title defence ends

In action for the first time since the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal was untroubled in Acapulco.

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev moved through at the Mexican Open, while Nick Kyrgios was booed as his title defense came to an end. Felix Auger-Aliassime also found a way to win despite his long trip from Marseille.

A two-time champion of the event, top seed Nadal cruised past Spanish compatriot Pablo Andujar (6-3 6-2) on Tuesday. In competitive action for the first time since the Australian Open, Nadal needed just 90 minutes to post his fourth victory in as many meetings with Andujar. “The most important thing to do after a long time without playing is winning. I needed a match like today to find my rhythm and to gain a bit of confidence”, said the Spaniard after his third victory in third matches over Andujar. Nadal will now the 20 years old promising Serbian, Miomir Kecmanovic (ATP 50th).

Zverev, the second seed at the ATP 500 tournament and a recent semi-finalist in Melbourne survived an early battle before getting past Jason Jung (7-6 (8-6) 6-1). Down 4-1 in the first set against the ATP n°119, the German slowly but surely found his way back into the set before flying through the victory. Last year’s runner-up, Zverev served 12 aces (and 8 double-faults) and broke four times in his victory. Zverev should have a tough next round against the American qualifier Tommy Paul, 22 years, 66 in the ATP ranking who has a massive attacking game and came close to beat Grigor Dimitrov in Melbourne.

Kyrgios beat Zverev in the final in 2019, but the Australian lasted just 31 minutes in the first round. Ugo Humbert took the first set 6-3 when Kyrgios retired due to a wrist injury, the 24-year-old receiving some boos as he left the court. He also withdrew in Delray Beach the week before from both single and doubles draws. One could then wonder why he still tried to play in Acapulco with a bad wrist.

Kyrgios was the only seed to fall as Felix Auger-Aliassime, John Isner, Grigor Dimitrov, and Dusan Lajovic advanced at the hard-court tournament. Taylor Fritz, Pedro Martinez, and Kwon Soon-woo were also among the winners.

The young Canadian won his first challenge in Acapulco with this win as he was coming straight from the final played in Marseille last Sunday. The 4th seed had the chance to face a player he was way superior to and someone he had already beaten this season as FAA had also the last word against Alex Bolt in Adelaide’s quarter-finals (6-3, 6-0). He will now face the British Kyle Edmund.

At the Chile Open in Santiago, seeds Juan Ignacio Londero, Federico Delbonis, and Thiago Monteiro all got through their first-round matches.

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