(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.”