‘I am very pleased’ – Rafael Nadal eases through in Acapulco but Alexander Zverev is stunned
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.
On this day in 2014: Stan Wawrinka ends Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open run
The Swiss won a five-set epic to deny Djokovic a piece of history.
Novak Djokovic hits back at allegations of being ‘selfish, difficult and ungrateful’
Djokovic says he finds it tough to be ‘a mere onlooker’.
Australian Open boss defends ‘better deal’ for the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams
Big-name players self-isolating in Adelaide.
Rotterdam Open boss reveals delight as ‘one of his all-time favourite players’ Rafael Nadal joins field
Rafael Nadal will return to Rotterdam.
Roberto Bautista Agut says quotes comparing quarantine to ‘jail, but with WiFi’ was ‘taken out of context’
Roberto Bautista Agut issues an apology.
More coronavirus cases linked to arrivals for Australian Open
Australian Open boss said the safety of the Victorian community will not be compromised.
Big boost for LTA’s innovation drive as it signs deal with UK distributor of the Slinger Bag
LTA signs deal with Framework Sports & Marketing Ltd.
Australian Open chief defends Novak Djokovic over quarantine note, saying ‘they were suggestions’
Craig Tiley jumps to Novak Djokovic’s defence.
Quarantine remains in place for 72 players ahead of Australian Open
Two Covid-19 cases have been deemed viral shedding.
EXCLUSIVE – British Davis Cup captain Leon Smith recalls sitting next to Judy Murray as her son won Wimbledon
We talk to Leon Smith about his coaching journey.