(Reuters) – Rafa Nadal extended his winning run in 2022 to 12 matches in his best start to a season in his career, dismissing American Stefan Kozlov 6-0 6-3 in Acapulco on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals of the ATP 500 tournament.
Kozlov was the Spaniard’s practice partner on Monday when he was called in as a last-minute replacement for injured Frenchman Maxime Cressy in the main draw.
Barring a brief period in the second set when he converted his only breakpoint chance in the contest, Kozlov was no match for Rafa whose previous best start of 11-0 in 2014 ended with a defeat to Swiss Stan Wawrinka in the Australian Open final.
“It’s always important to win as quick as possible but the most important thing is to win,” Rafa said after his victory in an hour and 16 minutes in hot and humid conditions.
“Tonight has been straight sets, that’s great news, and I’ll try to be ready for tomorrow again against a tough opponent.”
‘ ended with the loss against Stan warwinka in the Australian open 2014 final ‘ STOP WRITING THAT
HAHAHA but why Navdeep? It’s true isn’t it? For me it’s all part of Rafa’s beautiful history which is still being written.
Well played today champ!!
Well done Rafa. All the best for the next round.
We see his lower ranked players struggle, his gear was of poor quality and his shoes too. At least he received some dollars for reaching that stage. He has a good skill level but needs the proper structures to move forward .
It was a good practice session for Rafa and a short match. Well done 🇪🇸⭐️👏
EH, we must have watched a different match.
What I saw was a struggling Stefan in the first set vs Rafa perhaps because he had one heck of a Monday; from being stranded at sea, treading water for at least 20-30 minutes before being rescued, not hydrating, not eating properly, rushing to find something to wear to play vs Dimitrov because his clothes were at the laundry, practicing with Rafa before he found out he had to play Dimitrov and to report immediately to get ready for that match. Terrible cramping during his Dimitrov match when he could have retired but kept playing. I may have forgotten something but I’m writing from memory. Oh, he could have retired after Rafa served him a first-set bagel, but he persevered.
Stefan was most likely still feeling the effects from Monday’s match when he had to play Rafa on Wednesday. His first set was awful but he came alive a little bit in the second. Too little, too late.
I loved that he apologized to Rafa for dumping him during their practice session. It was in writing on the camera screen after the match. Hilarious.
I hope he moves up in the rankings and I will be watching him. How he wound up in the main draw is so unreal AND he got to play one of his favorites, Rafa.
I eschew superficiality.
Well said, Margo.👍
Poor kid’s shoes were falling apart! He put up a good fight against our champ but … well… Vamos Rafa forever!
Good luck and good match vs. T. Paul, Rafa 🍀❤️