ACAPULCO: Former world number one Rafael Nadal began his quest for a 38th clay-court title, dominating Diego Sebastian Schwartzman 6-2, 6-2 in his opening-round match of the Mexican Open Tuesday.
Nadal, who recently returned to the court after a seven-month injury layoff, needed just 68 minutes to oust Schwartzman, who at 20 was the youngest player in the men’s draw. Meanwhile, Nadal has denied Spanish media reports that he will not take part in the Masters Series events in Indian Wells and Miami next month, as he returns from a serious knee injury.
“My intention is to go to Indian Wells, my priority is to play there, but if I don’t feel comfortable and I’m not OK then I will have to take a decision,” Nadal said.
“These media companies cannot know more than me,” he was quoted as saying by Spanish media on Wednesday.
Isner hammers 28 aces
Top seed John Isner hammered 28 aces en route to a three-set victory over Jesse Levine in the first round of the ATP Tour’s Delray Beach International Championships on Tuesday.
Isner, who is looking to regain his form after battling a knee injury earlier this year, got off to a slow start against Canada’s Levine but played an efficient third set to win 7-6 (7/3), 5-7, 6-4.
Isner reached the semi-finals in Delray Beach last year. He moves on to play Japan’s Go Soeda, who survived a third-set tie-break to defeat last year’s finalist Marinko Matosevic. Soeda trailed 3-6 in the tie-break but managed to save three straight match points during a five-point winning streak to claim the match 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8/6).
Wozniacki crashes out
Top seed and former world number one Caroline Wozniacki crashed out of the BMW Malaysian Open in the first round on Wednesday when she was beaten by qualifier Wang Qiang.
The Dane, who was feeling unwell after suffering a high temperature on Tuesday, hardly chased Wang’s returns in the closing stages of the match and lost 2-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-1.
Wang was the fifth qualifier to reach the second round, joining Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum and Nudnida Luangnam, Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan’s Akgul Amanmuradova.