Rafael Nadal enjoyed a great day at the office in the Acapulco second round. A 21-time Major winner toppled Stefan Kozlov 6-0, 6-3 in an hour and 16 minutes to sail into the last eight and remain perfect in 2022. Kozlov had trained with Nadal when he found out he made the main draw as a lucky loser.
The American faced Grigor Dimitrov in the first round and prevailed in three hours and 20 minutes. Stefan did not have much left in the tank for the legend, experiencing a bagel in the opening set against Rafa and playing better in the second.
Rafa lost ten points in eight service games. He suffered one break from the only chance offered to the opponent and turned over half of the return points into five breaks from six opportunities.
Rafael Nadal beat Stefan Kozlov in straight sets in Acapulco.
The Spaniard had 29 winners and 18 unforced errors, with over ten direct points coming from his smash, which worked like a charm.
Continuing where he left in the first round against Denis Kudla, Rafa landed a backhand winner in the encounter’s opening game to get his name on the scoreboard. Nadal grabbed a break in game two after an extended rally and Kozlov’s mistake and forged a 3-0 advantage with an ace.
Spreading a tiring rival over a baseline, Rafa produced a smash winner at the net in the fourth game for another break and a massive lead. The Spaniard closed the fifth game with another smash winner and repeated that at 5-0 to deliver a bagel after 32 minutes.
Rafa forced Stefan’s mistake at the beginning of the second set for a hold at love. The American held at 15 in game two to lock the result at 1-1. A three-time champion held with a smash winner in game three and broke in the next one with, you guessed, another smash winner that pushed him 3-1 ahead.
Nadal fired a forehand down the line winner in game five to extend the lead and move closer to the finish line in under an hour. Kozlov painted a forehand crosscourt winner in the sixth game to reduce the deficit and pulled the break back in the next one after Nadal’s loose backhand at the net.
Staying calm, Rafa grabbed another break in game eight against the rival who barely had enough strength to serve. Nadal served for the victory at 5-3 and fired a booming serve to seal the deal and advance into the last eight.
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