Mexican Open: Rafael Nadal walks past Stefan Kozlov; Stefanos Tsitsipas has it easy

This was the Spaniard’s first tournament since winning a history-making 21st Grand Slam at the Australian Open last month.

Rafael Nadal in a file photo. (Image: Twitter/@ATP_tour)

Rafael Nadal has continued his impressive start to the 2022 season by scoring another dominant win. He registered a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Stefan Kozlov at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC. This was the Spaniard’s first tournament since winning a history-making 21st Grand Slam at the Australian Open last month. Nadal has now improved to a career-best 12-0 start to the new season. In the 2014 season, Nadal began with 11 straight wins before losing to Stan Wawrinka in the Australian Open final. The 35-year-old left-handed star, who won titles at the Melbourne Summer Set and the Australian Open, is looking for his third tour-level trophy of the season and the 91st of his scintillating career. 

READ MORE: What tennis racquet does Rafael Nadal use? Know about his tennis gear here

Nadal could face Russian star Daniil Medvedev if both players win one more match and advance to the semi-finals. “A little bit of a strange match,” Nadal assessed. “Kozlov has a different style than most other players, so you need to be very careful. Sometimes you are able to win points in a row, but then if you start to play at his rhythm, it’s very difficult because he has great control from the baseline and he’s very smart.”

After easing his way to victory in the first set, the Spaniard survived a tricky spell in the second set before booking his place in the quarter-finals in just over an hour. “Always it’s important to win as quick as possible,” Nadal added. “But the most important thing is to win. Tonight has been straight sets, that’s great news, and I’ll try to be ready for tomorrow again against a tough opponent.”

READ MORE: Daniil Medvedev net worth, career earnings and brand endorsements

Rafael Nadal to next face Tommy Paul

Nadal will next come up against an American player – Tommy Paul – in the last eight stage. Paul defeated Dusan Lajovic 7-6, 2-6, 7-5 earlier on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Stefanos Tsitsipas registered the fastest victory of his career, winning 6-1, 6-0 against American J.J. Wolf clocked in at just 47 minutes. “I would say I was patiently attacking. I wasn’t going for too much, but I also wasn’t going for too little,” the Greek star reflected on the match. “It felt great out there. It felt like I could control the points from both sides of the court and I felt very much in control throughout the entire match.

“I felt like my serve was working when I needed it. I just felt very comfortable with every single stroke and every single decision I had to make.” He will also next play against another American in Marcos Giron, who won 6-7, 6-4, 7-6 over eighth seed Pablo Carreno Busta.

READ MORE: What is Rafael Nadal’s net worth, salary, prize money, brand endorsements

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