Nadal, Rafael

Rafael Nadal Beats Pablo Andujar In Acapulco – ATP Tour

February 27, 2020

Rafael Nadaldemonstrated on Tuesday that the most important part of a tennis match is how you finish it. The top-seeded Spaniard swiftly recovered from an early deficit by winning 12 of the last 15 games to defeat fellow SpaniardPablo Andujar6-3, 6-2 in first-round action at theAbierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBCin Acapulco.

Nadal remained flawless (4-0) in his ATP Head2Head series with Andujar and improved to 16-2 at this event. The two-time Acapulco champion (2005, 2013) also kept alive the possibility of regaining the top spot in the FedEx ATP Rankings. If Nadal takes the title this week,Novak Djokovicmust reach the semi-finals at theDubai Duty Free Tennis Championshipsto remain World No. 1 on Monday.

Awaiting the Spaniard in the next round is SerbianMiomir Kecmanovic, who won an all-#NextGenATP battle on Monday against AussieAlex de Minaur.

Nadal began the match by dropping serve in the opening game and struggled to find the range on his forehand. But even though he was missing shots early on, the top seed still held full control of the tempo in their baseline rallies.

The top seed quickly broke back and went on a five-game run as he pushed Andujar around the court. Andujar bravely saved three set points on his serve at 2-5, but Nadal comfortably held in the next game and took the early advantage.

The second set proved to be one-way traffic for Nadal. He opened proceedings by breaking Andujar with a crushing forehand winner and never lost the lead, eventually closing out play after one hour and 32 minutes. Nadal finished the day with 26 winners to 23 unforced errors.

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Seventh seedGrigor Dimitrovwasted no time getting down to business and powered pastDamir Dzumhurof Bosnia-Herzegovina 6-3, 6-3 to reach the second round.

“Amazing crowd out here. It’s a very special tournament for me,” Dimitrov said in his on-court interview. “I was glad to get it going again as I haven’t played in a while and am happy to get that first win.”

The Bulgarian won 92 per cent of his first-serve points (24/26) and broke Dzumhur three times to advance in 74 minutes. Dimitrov now looks for his first quarter-final of the season when he meets FrenchmanAdrian Mannarinoin the next round.

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Spanish qualifierPedro Martinezcontinued his outstanding form with a convincing 6-3, 6-2 victory over MoldovanRadu Albot. The 22-year-old entered this season having never won a tour-level match, but has prevailed in all five of his opening-round matches this year. Next up for Martinez is a second-round clash with third-seeded SwissStan Wawrinka.

Soonwoo Kwonoutlasted Japanese lucky loserTaro Daniel6-2, 2-6, 6-3. The 22-year-old South Korean sits at a career-high ranking of No. 76 after reaching three quarter-finals this month in Pune, New York and Delray Beach. He’ll take on eighth seedDusan Lajovicin the next round after the Serbian outlasted AmericanSteve Johnson6-7(5), 6-4, 6-3.