Nadal cruises into Mexico Open quarter-finals

Spain's Rafael Nadal hit 20 winners to beat Serb Miomir Kecmanovic 6-2, 7-5 in Acapulco.

28 February 2020 | Sports

World number two Rafael Nadal stepped up his bid for a third ATP Mexico Open title with an impressive display of serving and shot-making to beat Serbian youngster Miomir Kecmanovic on Wednesday.

The Spaniard hit 20 winners as he kept his hopes alive of regaining the top ranking with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over the 20-year-old Kecmanovic to reach the quarter-finals at the Acapulco hard court tournament.

“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.”

Next up for Nadal is South Korea's Kwon Soon-woo, who reached his fourth quarter-final of the month with a 7-6 (7/2), 6-0 upset against eighth-seeded Dusan Lajovic. Soon-woo also reached the last eight in Pune, New York and Delray Beach. Nadal improved to 17-2 overall at this event.

He needs to take the Acapulco title and have Novak Djokovic lose his semi-final match at this week's Dubai Tennis Championships to regain the top spot.

Nadal roared to a 5-0 lead in the first set thanks to some superb serving and clutch winners. In the second set, he broke the Serb for a 5-3 lead but Kecmanovic broke back in the next game and held serve to level the set at 5-5.

Nadal, who made 17 unforced errors, clinched the match on the first match point when Kecmanovic blasted a forehand return well wide.

The other quarter-finals feature third seeded Stan Wawrinka against Grigor Dimitrov, Taylor Fritz versus Kyle Edmund and fifth seed John Isner against qualifier Tommy Paul.

NAMPA / AFP

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