Date: 22 February 2022
Tournament: Abierto Mexicano Telcel 2022
Round: First round (Round of 32)
Venue: Acapulco, Mexico
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $1,832,890
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video | India - Tennis TV
Rafael Nadal vs Denis Kudla preview
Fourth seed Rafael Nadal will take on lucky loser Denis Kudla in the first round of the 2022 Abierto Mexicano Telcel on Tuesday.
After ending his 2021 season early to recover from an injury, Nadal has made a dream start this year. Upon his comeback, he won his 89th career title at the Melbourne Summer Set. At the Australian Open, he survived some tough matches to reach his 29th Major final.
Up against Daniil Medvedev in the championship match, Nadal lost the first couple of sets. However, in a spectacular turnaround, he defeated the World No. 2 in five sets to become the first male player to win 21 Grand Slam titles. The Spaniard also took the lead in the Grand Slam race for the first time in his career and completed a double career Grand Slam.
Nadal remains undefeated this year and will look to continue his winning ways in Mexico as well.
After losing in the final round of qualifying, Denis Kudla secured a spot in the main draw as a lucky loser. The American has had a rough year so far, with just one main-draw win under his belt. His solitary victory came in the first round of the Sydney Tennis Classic against Federico Delbonis.
Kudla lost in the second round to David Goffin in Sydney. He then made first-round exits from the next three tournaments he competed in. The 29-year-old arrives in Mexico on a four-match losing streak.
Rafael Nadal vs Denis Kudla head-to-head
This will be the first meeting between Nadal and Kudla, so the head-to-head stands at 0-0 for now.
Rafael Nadal vs Denis Kudla prediction
Nadal was originally set to face Reilly Opelka in the first round, but the American withdrew from the tournament. Kudla then entered the main draw as a lucky loser, though the American might not feel too lucky since he has to face the Spaniard in the opening round.
Kudla finds himself in the midst of a rough patch. With a 1-4 record for the year, he has struggled mightily no matter the opponent. Nadal, on the other hand, remains unbeaten this year and arrives in Mexico on a 11-match winning streak.
Given their wildly contrasting results so far, Nadal will be the overwhelming favorite to win this contest. Kudla is quite steady in baseline exchanges but he might find it tough to handle the Spaniard's top-spin-heavy forehands, which could put him on the backfoot.
One characteristic of Nadal that has stood out this year has been his ability to adapt during matches to turn things in his favor. Even if Kudla manages to put up a fight, the 21-time Major champion is likely to find a way to win.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal to win in straight sets.
Also Check Out : Mexican Open 2022 Schedule