Rafael Nadal marks his return to action for the first time since his epic Australian Open triumph with a clash…
Rafael Nadal marks his return to action for the first time since his epic Australian Open triumph with a clash against Denis Kudla in the First Round of the Mexican Open.
Nadal etched his name into the tennis record books by securing his 21st Grand Slam title 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 begins his campaign against America’s Kudla, with the world number 105 having notably reached the Fourth Round of Wimbledon back in 2015.
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.
It’s difficult to envisage any other outcome than a straight sets victory for Nadal, but 1/7 offers little in the way of value, so our best bet is for under 18.5 total games at 5/6 with Bet365.
Recommended BetUnder 18.5 total games 5/6 Bet Here 18+ | T&Cs Apply | Begambleaware.org
Nadal v Kudla is available to watch via a live stream on desktop, mobile or tablet devices from approximately 2am GMT.
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Watch Nadal v Kudla in the 2022 Mexican Open live stream on laptop, mobile or tablet devices