‘I am very pleased’ – Rafael Nadal eases through in Acapulco but Alexander Zverev is stunned

Rafael Nadal in action at Australian Open

Top seed Rafael Nadal had no problems at the Mexican Open on Thursday, beating Miomir Kecmanovic in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals, but Alexander Zverev fared considerably worse.

The world number two saw off his 20-year-old opponent 6-2 7-5 in one hour and 35 minutes to set up a last-eight clash with Kwon Soon-woo, who stunned eighth seed Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (2) 6-0.

Nadal won the first five games of his match and, after failing to serve out the set, he immediately broke back to secure the opener.

The second set remained on serve until the eighth game, when Nadal took his second break point.

Kecmanovic, the world number 50, broke back but the 19-time grand slam champion stepped it up in the final game to break again and secure victory.

“He’s a very dangerous player. Young, with a lot of power. I’m very pleased with the victory,” Nadal said.

“I played a very good first set and that’s important for me. That gives me confidence.”

Earlier, second seed Alexander Zverev was stunned by American qualifier Tommy Paul, who claimed a fine 6-3, 6-4 victory, thanks in part to the German’s nine double faults.

Grigor Dimitrov beat Adrian Mannarino in a final-set tie-break while American duo John Isner and Taylor Fritz were also second-round winners in Acapulco while Stan Wawrinka beat Spain’s Pedro Martinez 6-4 6-4.

At the Dubai Duty Free Championships, world number one Novak Djokovic breezed into the quarter-finals.

The Serbian dropped just four games in a 6-3 6-1 defeat of Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Second and third seeds Stefanos Tsitsipas and Gael Monfils saw off Alexander Bublik and Yasutaka Uchiyama respectively in straight sets.

Eighth seed Benoit Paire was the day’s biggest casualty, losing 6-4 6-4 to fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet, while Russian duo Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov both eased through in straight sets.

Britain’s Dan Evans saw off Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-5 3-6 7-6 (7) while Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1 6-0.

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