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Nadal extends winning streak to 11 matches with first round win in Acapulco
Nadal beats lucky loser Denis Kudla in straight sets and gets another lucky loser – Stefan Kozlov – in the second round
Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal remained unbeaten in 2022 and extended his unbeaten streak to 11 matches after winning his first round match at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel Open in Acapulco, Mexico on Tuesday evening.
Nadal was scheduled to play big-serving Reilly Opelka his first round but the American pulled out of the event due to fatigue after reaching the final in Delray Beach over the weekend and was replaced by lucky loser Denis Kudla, also from the United States.
Nadal started the match strong, breaking Kudla in the fourth game of the first set. The Spaniard held on to that break and won the first set 6-3.
Nadal was even more dominant in the second set, breaking Kudla’s serve in the third and fifth games of the second set to complete the 6-3, 6-2 win in one hour and 16 minutes.
The Spaniard won the Melbourne Summer Set and Australian Open titles in January to get off to a perfect start in 2022 after missing the last five months of the 2021 season due to a foot injury.
Nadal does not face a single break point in win; gets Kozlov next
The 35-year-old Nadal did not face a single break point in the match and won 96 percent of his first serve points and 77 percent of his second serve points in the match. He also came away winning 45 percent of points on Kudla’s serve while giving away only 23 percent points on his own serve.
The Spaniard will next meet American Stefan Kozlov for a place in the quarter-finals of the ATP 500 event. Kozlov, who had to bail out in the middle of a practice session with the Spaniard after learning he had been moved into the main draw as a lucky loser, created history on Monday evening by winning the longest match in the event’s history – a three-hour 21-minute marathon against Grigor Dimitrov, during which he overcame a severe bout of cramps late in the second set. This will be the first meeting between the two players.