World no. 2 Rafael Nadal grabbed the tenth victory of the season and the 17th in Acapulco from 19 matches, defeating Miomir Kecmanovic 6-2, 7-5 in an hour and 35 minutes. The two-time champion looked good on the court, controlling the pace with sharp and aggressive strokes and producing fine shotmaking to keep the youngster behind in their first clash on the Tour despite a solid effort from Miomir in set number two.
He broke Rafa twice from three chances but that wasn't enough to keep him safe, dropping half of the points in his games and suffering five breaks from six opportunities offered to Nadal. The Spaniard needed three deuces and seven minutes to secure the opening game with a forehand winner, finding the rhythm on the return and breaking Miomir at 15 to open a 2-0 advantage when the Serb netted a forehand.
Staying aggressive, Rafa closed the third game with a service winner and grabbed a break at love to move further in front, flying over the court and delivering one of the shots of the tournament with a fanstactic forehand down the line winner.
Nadal forced an error from Kecmanovic to gain a 5-0 lead after 24 minutes before the youngster held at 15 with a service winner to get his name on the scoreboard. Serving for the set, Nadal got broken following a beautiful forehand down the line winner from Miomir who prolong the opener for one more game before Rafa broke him at love to take the first set 6-2 in 37 minutes.
A forehand down the line winner secured the first game of the second set for the Spaniard and the Serb was there to fight this time, forcing an error from world no. 2 in game two to level the score at 1-1. A volley winner closed the third game for Rafa before Miomir responded with a backhand down the line winner on his serve to level the score at 2-2 and build confidence even more.
A service winner pushed Nadal 3-2 in front but he was yet to create some damage on the return, with Kecmanovic locking the sixth game with an ace for a 3-3. The more experienced player also held at love in game seven to remain in front, producing another marvelous running forehand winner in the next game before earning that crucial break after a backhand error from Miomir to move 5-3 in front.
Serving for the victory, Rafa suddenly got broken at 15 thanks to a beautiful volley winner from Kecmanovic who refused to surrender, holding at love in game ten to lock the result at 5-5 with some powerful serving. Ending his downfall, Rafa held at 15 with a service winner to go 6-5 in front, forcing Kecmanovic to serve for staying in the match.
Drawing mistakes from the youngsters, Nadal created match points and converted the first to seal the deal and advance into the quarter-final where he will face Soonwoo Kwon.