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ATP Tennis From Acapulco • RAFA Blew 3 Match Points • Kyrgios Wins To Face Wawrinka

Rafael Nadal of Spain in action against Nick Kyrgios of Australia during a round of 16 match of the Mexican Tennis Open held at Acapulco, Mexico, 27 February 2019. EPA-EFE/DAVID GUZMAN



By Ricky Dimon


Nick Kyrgios messed around through four matches against opponents outside the top 30 of the rankings earlier in 2019. He managed to win two of them but did not look interested or play well on any of those occasions.


Playing in the same event as world No. 2 and 17-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal proved to be just what the doctor ordered for Kyrgios. After beating Andreas Seppi 6-3, 7-5 with an inspired performance in round one of Acapulco, the Aussie explained it by saying, “I saw Nadal ahead in the draw.”


Kyrgios’ reward did, in fact, turn out to be a sixth career showdown against the Spaniard on Wednesday night in Acapulco. Unsurprisingly, the 23-year-old rose to the occasion. Kyrgios recovered from a set deficit and from what appeared to be various physical problems to save three match points and stun Nadal 3-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(6) in a roller-coaster thriller that lasted three hours and three minutes.


Seemingly down and out both mentally and physically early in the second set, Kyrgios later found himself on the brink of defeat once again trailing 6-3 in the third-set tiebreaker. But he saved one match point with a drop-shot, another with a drop-volley off the net cord, and a third when Nadal just barely missed a backhand pass. It ended two points later when the top seed erred on another backhand that sailed just over the baseline.


“It’s massive,” Kyrgios commented. “I’ve struggled a lot this year, so to be able to put in a performance like that against the No. 1 seed is pretty special. The level of tennis I played today is a good test for my body [and] just the way I competed, I left it all out there…. It’s a massive confidence boost for me.”


There was no love lost in that contest and there will be even less lost in his quarterfinal date with Stan Wawrinka on Thursday. Their contentious rivalry is led 3-2 by the veteran Swiss.


“It’s going to be incredibly tough,” Kyrgios assured. “Another multiple Grand Slam champion who knows how to win matches. It looks like he’s coming into form again. His one-handed backhand is one of the best ever in the game (and) he’s a great competitor.“



Nick Kyrgios…..defeated Seppi…..defeated Nadal
Stan Wawrinka…..defeated Harrison…..defeated Johnson

John Isner…..defeated Adrian Mannarino…..defeated Sam Querrey
John Millman…..defeated Granollers…..defeated Gojowyczk

Mackenzie McDonald….defeated Nava…..defeated Tiafoe
Cameron Norrie…..defeated Nishioka…..defeated Schwartzman

Alex de Minaur…..defeated Jarry…..walkover from Lopez
Alexander Zverev…..defeated Popyrin…..defeated Ferrer



1. Rafael Nadal – lost R2 to Kyrgios
2. Alexander Zverev – QF vs. de Minaur
3. John Isner – QF vs. Millman
4. Diego Schwartzman – lost R2 to Norrie
5. Alex de Minaur – QF vs. Zverev
6. Frances Tiafoe – lost R2 to McDonald
7. Steve Johnson – lost R2 to Wawrinka
8. John Millman – QF vs. Isner


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.


Editors Note: We heard it was more than Acapulco’s humid conditions that made RAFA “HOT” like MAD type hot. Nick was messing around the whole match. Taking time outs… (more later) 

And all we know is a few things about Nick… mercurial… He is talented. He likes kids. He is funny at times. But often at others expenses. 

We are certain he won’t mess with “Stan the Man Wawrinka.” [he tried that once already…]

It should be a great match. The tourney is awesome. We just don’t understand how the ATP | WTA feel safe taking the players into Mexico? We are serious. It’s a dangerous travel destination. Just saying? (LJ)

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