VIDEO: Rafael Nadal off to a winning start in Acapulco – highlights

(AFP) – Rafael Nadal marked his return to action with a straight-sets victory over Pablo Andujar on Tuesday as he launched his bid to reclaim the world number one ranking at the Mexico Open in Acapulco.

The 33-year-old Spaniard, playing for the first time since his quarter-final exit to Dominic Thiem at the Australian Open last month, claimed a 6-3, 6-2 victory over compatriot Andujar in 1hr 30min.

“The most important thing when you have not competed for a while is to win, I needed a match like today to get in rhythm and gain some confidence,” Rafa said after the victory.

Rafa suffered an early stumble, with Andujar grabbing a break of serve in the opening game as the 19-time Grand Slam winner took time to find his rhythm.

However, Rafa broke back quickly and then opened up a 5-2 lead. Andujar saved three set points to hold serve but Rafa easily held to take the first set.

Andujar never looked like finding a way back into the match in the second set as a dominant Rafa broke in the first game and kept up the momentum, to close out the win emphatically.

“It was an awkward first round game,” Rafa said. “I had not competed for a while and the temperature change is drastic enough… but I am happy with the victory.”

Rafa faces Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic in Wednesday’s second round. Kecmanovic defeated Australia’s Alex de Minaur in Monday’s opening round.

Source: AFP

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18 comments

  1. I’m gutted that Gael Monfils lost to Novak. Gael had match points in the second set, but couldn’t get over the line, then he ran out of steam in the third. So near and yet so far and he just can’t break that duck. Gael has the tools to beat Novak, but he doesn’t have the belief. He said recently that there’s more chance of winning the lottery than beating Rafa, Roger or Novak. It seems that he’s talked himself out of winning against them.

    Come on Tsitsipas! Lift that trophy and show Novak that he isn’t invincible, as i’m sure he must think he is right now.

    Rafa plays Dimitrov at 4am in the morning UK time. Sadly I don’t think I’ll be awake to watch it live, but I wish Rafa the best of luck and hope he can do it in straights.

  2. Rafa and Marc Lopez have signed up for doubles at Indian Wells. I hope Japan will be able to host the Olympics. As of now it seems unlikely but things could change.

    • Wow🤗 Thanks Margo🙏
      Hope Rafa and Marc also play doubles at the Olympics🤞

      Ramara👍 They are my favorite doubles team as well❤️ enjoyed watching them, especially at the Rio Olympics!

      • You’re welcome Mimi.

        I don’t like doubles but love watching Rafa and Marc as a team. Here’s hoping they play doubles at the Olympics.

  3. Congratulations on your victory playing M. Kecmanovic Rafa👏 What an insane running winner😮👍
    Good luck against S. Kwon in the quarterfinals tonight 🍀❤️

  4. Rafa good luck today in Acapulco I’m watching you much this morning so far so good vamosssssss chump love your fans for ever 🎾👍😘❤️🇺🇸🎾😘

  5. Even though i’m not the biggest fan of Maria Sharapova, I’ve always admired her competitive spirit and her steely determination. She has achieved so much in the game that many players could only dream of. With all her off court endorsements and business ventures, she’ll definitely have a prosperous life after tennis and I wish her call the best.

    As for Andy Murray, it’s sad to see him falling victim to one injury after another. He’s a fighter with so much passion for the sport, but maybe his body is telling him that enough is enough.

  6. Maria Sharapova has announced her retirement. Not a fan and happy to see her go but nevertheless wish her well in her new life. Also Andy Murray may need more surgery putting his participation in Wimbledon and the Olympics in question. Regarding the Olympics: Dick Pound of the IOC has not discounted that they could yet be cancelled. Allowing themselves until end of May to make final decision.

  7. Nick retired from his match with a wrist injury. Apparently, he was booed by the crowd. Not right, but that’s what often happens when the paying public feel they’ve been cheated out of a full match. On the plus side, at least Rafa won’t have to deal with any of his shinanigans like he did in last year’s final.

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