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Abierto Mexicano Telcel 2017: Djokovic battles, Nadal cruises in Round 1

The pair are top seeds at Acapulco, with Djokovic making his debut here.

01 Mar 2017, 10:29 IST

SHANGHAI, CHINA - OCTOBER 10:  (L to R)Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal chats at the sponsors party of ATP Shanghai Rolex Masters 2016 at Qi Zhong Tennis Centre on October 10, 2016 in Shanghai, China.  (Photo by Kevin Lee/Getty Images)
Djokovic is the top seed, with Nadal seeded second

World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, the top seed at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel, beat his first-round opponent, Martin Klizan, in a hard-fought battle, beating him 6-3, 7-6. The Serbian former top-ranked player was in his first competitive match since his shock second-round loss at the Australian Open to Uzbek player Denis Istomin.

This match – and 2017 – marked Djokovic’s debut at Acapulco, an ATP500 event, with Rafael Nadal seeded second in the draw. 

Djokovic laboured early on in the first set, struggling as he saved a total of four break points early on to win. The second set was slower, and more difficult for the 29-year-old, who fought to a tiebreak in the second to take victory in a little over an hour and a half. 

With Klizan looking quite dominant despite a solid fight back from Djokovic, the Slovakian ace was perhaps let down by his 30 unforced errors, to Djokovic’s 11. 

Novak Djokovic will now play the winner of the match between Juan Martin del Potro and American Frances Tiafoe. 

Nadal cruises 

Rafael Nadal has continued his stellar form into Mexico, defeating Germany’s Mischa Zverev in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3 to progress to Round 2; he will now play Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi. Should the tournament progress as expected, the two top seeds should set up an extremely interesting finals clash. 

Nadal’s win today, expected considering his form, was still no mean feat, given that Zverev himself had an excellent start to the year, upsetting Andy Murray from the Australian Open. 

Today, too, Zverev put on a good fight, and played consistent serve and volley to the baseline-specalist Nadal, who eventually came out on top in the end in an hour and 17 minutes. 

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