Rafael Nadal arranges Nick Kyrgios duel

Rafael Nadal reached the 2017 Cincinnati Masters quarter-final

by Jovica Ilic
Rafael Nadal arranges Nick Kyrgios duel
© Matthew Stockman / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Rafael Nadal experienced a shocking defeat to the young gun Denis Shapovalov in Montreal 2017. Eager to improve his game and chase a better result, Nadal entered the following week's Cincinnati Masters as the top seed, seeking his first Ohio title since 2013.

Rafa beat Richard Gasquet in the second round and was the favorite in the next one against his compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Nadal defeated Ramos-Vinolas 7-6, 6-2 in an hour and 38 minutes for his seventh Cincinnati quarter-final, setting a thrilling Nick Kyrgios clash.

Rafa beat Albert for the fourth time from as many duels, struggling in the opener but sealing the deal in straight sets. Nadal hit 19 winners and 25 unforced errors. His rival landed 11 winners and over 30 mistakes, plaguing his chances.

They played too many loose forehands, and Rafa emerged at the top when it mattered the most to advance.

Rafael Nadal defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas in Cincinnati 2017.

Nadal had the upper hand in the shortest rallies up to four strokes.

He landed a service winner in 30% of all the serves, building his advantage in that segment. Ramos-Vinolas squandered all four break chances and suffered two breaks in set number two, propelling a better-ranked compatriot into the last eight.

It was Nadal's 11th straight victory against the fellow Spaniards, winning 22 consecutive sets! Rafa landed an ace in the encounter's opening game for a hold at love, forcing the opponent's error at 1-1 to remain ahead. Serving well and controlling the pace with his groundstrokes, Albert stayed in touch in the opening half an hour, locking the result at 4-4.

Nadal held after deuce in the ninth game and created a set point in the next one. Ramos-Vinolas stayed calm and saved it with a powerful serve & forehand combo. They introduced a tie break, and Rafa opened a 4-1 advantage with two winners.

Nadal hit a service winner at 6-1 to wrap up the set in just under an hour and avoid an early setback. Rafa fended off a break chance at the beginning of the second set and faced three more at 1-2. The top seed repelled those with powerful serves and hit five consecutive winners to bring the game home in style!

Ramos-Vinolas netted a forehand in the next one to experience the first break and fall behind. Nadal gained a boost and moved 5-2 up with another return game on his tally. Rafa served for the victory in game eight and landed a forehand winner for a hold at love and a place in the quarter-final, where he met Nick Kyrgios.

Rafael Nadal Nick Kyrgios Cincinnati Masters