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Despite injury, Nadal wins Acapulco opening match

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FORMER World No.1, Rafael Nadal has got off to winning start at the Mexican Open after recently admitting that he has been troubled by a hand injury heading into the tournament.

The top seed brushed aside Germany’s Mischa Zverev 6-3, 6-3, in just over 80 minutes. Nadal broke Zverev once during the opening set and twice in the second, hitting 25 winners (16 from the forehand side alone) to 14 unforced errors. Nadal also won 70% of his service points and saved the sole break point he faced in the match.

“(I’m) Happy for the victory of course. (It’s) A good start for me, never easy against Mischa. And especially after a while without competing.” Nadal said during an interview with ATP Tour.

Shortly after his victory, Nadal admitted that his preparation for Acapulco this week has not gone to plan. Confirming that he has been dealing with ‘issues’ concerning his hand in recent days. The latest issue in the life of the injury-stricken player. Nadal withdrew from the Mexican Open last year due to a hip injury.

“I had some problems with the hand the last couple of days, without practicing much, so it’s an important victory for me.” He explained.

Nevertheless, the hand issue appeared to have little impact on the game of the Spaniard on Tuesday. Nadal is a two-time winner in Acapulco, but is yet to win a title at the tournament since it changed its surface from clay to hard court in 2014.

Up next for Nadal will be the unpredictable Nick Kyrgios. A player who he has a winning head-to-head record of 3-2 against. World No.72 Kyrgios fired 13 aces during his 6-3, 7-5, win over Andreas Seppi. The Australian, who has also been troubled by his fair share of injury issues, is yet to win back-to-back matches this season.

“This tournament is hard and there’s a lot of great players, so these kinds of matches can happen in the early stages,” said Nadal. “Nick is one of the most talented players on tour. It’s a big challenge for me and I hope to be ready for it.”

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