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Nadal vs Kyrgios ATP Acapulco live streaming, preview and tips - Nadal and Kyrgios collide in blockbuster second round clash

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 27 Feb 2019
  • Rafael Nadal vs Nick Kyrgios is live from Acapulco around 8.00pm local time on Wednesday (2.00am GMT, Thursday)
  • Nadal leads their head-to-head 3-2, with their hardcourt record level at 1-1
Rafael Nadal (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal renews his rivalry with controversial Australian star Nick Kyrgios as the pair square off in a box office Abierto Mexicano Telcel second round showdown in Acapulco on Wednesday night.

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Rafael Nadal crushed Nick Kyrgios for the loss of just three games in their last meeting and the Australian is currently suffering from injuries to both his knees, but Kyrgios lives for these types of matches - could he possibly lift and secure a third win over the great Spaniard in the Acapulco second round on Wednesday night?

Playing his first match since finishing runner-up to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open a month ago, Nadal looked extremely crisp in a routine straight sets victory over Mischa Zverev in the opening round on Tuesday evening. Nadal was never seriously troubled throughout the 6-3 6-3 triumph, hitting 25 winners to just 14 unforced errors, saving the one break point he faced and winning 19/26 points behind his second serve in an incredibly clean and polished performance. Nadal also beat Zverev in the first round of Acapulco in 2017, the year he made the final before losing to Sam Querrey, while the Spaniard is also a two-time champion at the event when it was held on clay, prevailing in 2005 and 2013. Nadal’s win over Zverev on Tuesday improved his record at the event to a commanding 15-1.

Nadal was forced to withdraw from Acapulco last year after he failed to recover from an injury sustained during the Australian Open quarter-finals, where he retired against Marin Cilic. The 17-time Grand Slam champion would go on to pull out of both Indian Wells and Miami in order to ensure his body was right for the clay season - and boy was it, with Nadal going on to win record titles in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona and the French Open, while he also took home the silverware in Rome and made the quarter-finals of Madrid, losing just one match over the course of the European clay swing.

Nadal would go on to lose an epic semi-final clash to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon before winning his first hardcourt tournament of the season at the Canada Masters, but a knee injury would cause him to retire at a second hardcourt major of 2018 as he pulled the pin in the U.S. Open semi-finals against Juan Martin del Potro. That injury - and minor surgery on his ankle - would sideline Nadal for the remainder of 2018, and after he withdrew from the Brisbane International at the start of 2019, there were question marks as to whether he’d even be able to compete in Melbourne. However, the 32-year-old played his best hardcourt tennis in years as he surged to the final without dropping a set, but there was nothing Nadal could do as he was trounced in straight sets by a rampaging Djokovic in the final.

With a month’s break and rest under his belt, is Nadal ready to lift the title this week in Acapulco? He faces a challenging test in the second round on Wednesday night.

Nick Kyrgios (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Nick Kyrgios is currently at his lowest ranking (No. 72) since 2014, which was the year he burst onto the scene and made worldwide headlines when he stunned Nadal in four sets to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final at Wimbledon as a teenager. Kyrgios would jump from around 150 in the world and into the top 70, finishing that season on the cusp of the top 50 and swiftly breaking into the top 30 over the first half of 2015 as he made the Australian Open quarter-finals - which was the last time he has made it to that stage of a major tournament - and beat Roger Federer at the Madrid Masters.

Kyrgios would go on to secure the first three ATP titles of his career in 2016, including the 500-level Japan Open crown in Tokyo, along with making his first Masters 1000 semi-final in Miami, hitting his career-high ranking of No. 13 as a result towards the end of that year. The Australian continued to make an impact outside of the slams in 2017, reaching his first Masters 1000 final in Cincinnati (beat Nadal in straight sets in the semi-finals, lost to Grigor Dimitrov) and repeating his run to the Miami semi-finals, be he failed to make it past the second round of any slam. Kyrgios was then plagued by constant injury issues in 2018, most notably an elbow problem that caused him to miss multiple months after a promising start to the season saw him win a fourth career title in Brisbane and advance to the Round of 16 at the Australian Open.

After a third round loss to Federer at the U.S. Open, Kyrgios only won two more matches for the rest of the season before ending his year at No. 35 in the world - and after failing to defend his Brisbane title and losing to Milos Raonic in the first round of the Australian Open, that ranking plummeted to outside the top 60. Kyrgios did manage a win last week in Delray Beach over compatriot John Millman (he would lose in the second round to eventual champion Radu Albot), but he produced his best performance of the season to take out Andreas Seppi 6-3 7-5 in the first round of Acapulco on Tuesday, rebounding from the disappointment of relinquishing a break lead in the second to close out the match without the assistance of a tiebreak in straights.

Kyrgios has fond memories of Acapulco having conquered Novak Djokovic at the tournament in 2017, but even though he’s proven he’s capable of blasting Nadal off the court, I can’t see it happening on Wednesday. Kyrgios was muttering to himself throughout the Seppi win and gesturing to his knees, both of which are taped because of tendonitis. Movement is so key against Nadal, and if you’re restricted in any way, it makes it almost impossible to win. Kyrgios will need to fire down aces and have one of his best serving days if he is going to cause the upset, but Nadal looked so sharp against Zverev, and he will relish moving the Australian around the court. Expect the Spaniard to advance into the quarter-finals.

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Nadal vs Kyrgios ATP Acapulco live streaming, preview and tips - Nadal and Kyrgios collide in blockbuster second round clash

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal renews his rivalry with controversial Australian star Nick Kyrgios as the pair square off in a box office Abierto Mexicano Telcel second round showdown in Acapulco on Wednesday night.

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