Rafael Nadal continues his quest for a fourth ATP Acapulco title with a Second Round tie against Stefan Kozlov. Nadal…
Rafael Nadal continues his quest for a fourth ATP Acapulco title with a Second Round tie against Stefan Kozlov.
Nadal etched his name into the tennis record books by securing his 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in Melbourne last month to overtake rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic at the top of the all-time list.
The 35-year-old, who had been out of action since ending his season early in August due to a foot injury, rolled back the years to pull off a stunning success Down Under.
Following wins over Karen Khachanov, Denis Shapovalov, and Matteo Berrettini, Nadal incredibly battled back from two sets down to defeat Daniil Medvedev in a pulsating five-set final.
In doing so, the Spaniard also became only the second man in the Open Era, after Djokovic, to complete the double career Grand Slam.
He is now ranked world number five and will be looking to pick up from where he left off in Australia, starting at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel (ATP Mexico).
Nadal is a three-time winner of the Mexican Open, most recently in 2020, making him the second most successful player in the 29-year history of the tournament.
Nadal, seeded number four, is among a star-studded field for the ATP 500 event on hard court, which includes four of the world’s top five ranked players.
He began his campaign with a routine straight sets win over world number 105 Denis Kudla on Wednesday for the total loss of just five games.
Next up is a tie against America’s Stefan Kozlov – one of three ‘Lucky Losers’ in the competition – who enjoyed an impressive three-set scalp of Grigor Dimitrov in his opener.
Kozlov is world ranked 130 and reached the Second Round of the recent Australian Open – marking his best run in a Grand Slam to date.
This will be the first competitive meeting between the two players on any surface and sees Nadal bidding to avoid what would be a monumental upset on current form.
Again, it is difficult to foresee anything other than a straight sets win for Rafa, but 1/12 others nothing in the way of value, so we are opting for a Nadal win and over 16.5 total games at 4/6 with Bet365.
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