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Nadal remains perfect in 2022 with 12th consecutive win to reach Acapulco quarters

This is the best ever start to the season for 35-year-old Nadal, who could meet top seed Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his round of 16 match against Stefan Kozlov of the U.S. at the Abierto Mexicano Open in Acapulco Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his round of 16 match against Stefan Kozlov of the U.S. at the Abierto Mexicano Open in Acapulco Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

ATP 500 Acapulco Results | Schedule

21-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal maintained his perfect start to the 2022 season by beating American Stefan Kozlov in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel Open in Acapulco, Mexico.

Nadal was dominant in a 6-0, 6-3 win over Kozlov, with whom he was practicing on Monday before the American got called into the main draw as a lucky loser. Kozlov went on to beat Grigor Dimitrov in a wild three-setter that lasted three hours and 21 minutes in the longest match in Acapulco history. But the American was unable to produce some of the same magic against the Spaniard and went down in an hour and 16 minutes.

Best-ever start to the season for the Spaniard but Medvedev looms ahead

By winning titles at the Melbourne Summer Set and Australian Open, and reaching the quarter-finals here, Nadal has won his first 12 matches of the season for the first time in his career. His previous best start to a season was in 2014, when he won his first 11 matches before losing in the Australian Open final to Stan Wawrinka.

Nadla is chasing his 91st career singles title this week in Acapulco and will meet American Tommy Paul, who beat Dusan Lajovic 7-6(6), 2-6, 7-5.

Russia's Daniil Medvedev reacts during his match against France's Benoit Paire at the Abierto Mexicano Open
Russia’s Daniil Medvedev reacts during his match against France’s Benoit Paire at the Abierto Mexicano Open Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

The Spaniard is scheduled to play top seed Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals. The Russian meets Yoshihito Nishioka in Thursday’s quarter-finals and could supplant Novak Djokovic at the top of the world rankings next week based on how he fares in Acapulco and how Djokovic performs in Dubai.

Tsitsipas joins Nadal and Medvedev in quarter-finals

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates winning his round of 16 match against J.J. Wolf of the U.S. in Acapulco
Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates winning his round of 16 match against J.J. Wolf of the U.S. in Acapulco Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

With the news of Alexander Zverev getting defaulted from the event due to his on-court outburst against the chair umpire, the top seeds on Wednesday ensured they let their rackets do the talking on the court.

After straight set wins by Medvedev and Nadal, world No 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas crushed American J.J. Wolf 6-1, 6-0 in 47 minutes, losing just 16 points along the way. The win was the quickest of the Greek’s career and sets up a quarter-final clash against American Marcos Giron, who beat eighth seed Pablo Carreno Busta 6-7(7), 6-4, 7-6(4).

Britain’s Cameron Norrie, who won Delray Beach over the week, beat John Isner 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-4 to also reach the last eight where he will meet Peter Gojowczyk, who advanced following Zverev’s disqualification.

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