Rafael Nadal takes on unseeded German player Mischa Zverev in the opening round of Mexican Open in Acapulco on Tuesday.
The second seed returns to competitive action after his agonising defeat in the final to Roger Federer in last month's Australian Open. The in-form Spaniard, who eyes more success this year despite the issues with his wrist, opted out of Spain's Davis Cup tie and Rotterdam Open earlier this month.
Notably, Nadal had decimated Mischa 6-1, 6-1 in their only meeting earlier this year at the Brisbane International Round of 16 clash after which the Spaniard went on to lose his quarter-final clash against Milos Raonic.
On the other hand, the 30-year-old German has been on the rise since last year and had the highlight of his career when he stunned world number one Andy Murray in four sets, packed with his masterful volley and return combinations, in Melbourne. However, Mischa went on to lose his quarter-final outing to eventual champion Federer.
Since his breakthrough Australian Open campaign, Mischa has not won a single match, losing his Davis Cup rubber against Belgium's Ruben Bemelmans and facing first-round exits at Montpellier and Rotterdam.
One can expect Mischa to pull his socks up and give his best against Nadal but his recent form is a concern against the world number six, who will be ready for a test of serve and volleys.
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