Nadal ousts Mahut to reach Miami quarter-finals

By Peter Thompson 29 March 2017 266
Nadal ousts Mahut to reach Miami quarter-finals

Rafael Nadal will face Jack Sock in the quarter-finals of the Miami Open after beating Nicolas Mahut in straight sets on Tuesday.

The 14-time grand slam champion recovered from the humiliation of a first-set bagel to see off Philipp Kohlschreiber in the third round and only needed two sets to defeat Mahut 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

Nadal was imperious on serve, not facing a single break point as he won 92 per cent of points on his first serve and made just 11 unforced errors in an impressive fourth-round display.

The fifth seed made a hugely concerning start to his 1000th career match against Kohlschreiber, but lost only four points on serve in the first set two days later.

Mahut was also solid on serve in the opener, but slipped up when he fired a forehand long to give Nadal the only break opportunity of the match and volleyed a backhand overhead into the net to go 5-4 down.

Nadal served out to go 1-0 ahead, but neither player was able to force a break in the second set of a tight contest between two vastly experienced players who had not played each other since back in 2011.

The unseeded Mahut had the edge when he secured the first mini-break to lead 2-1, but the Australian Open runner-up won the next four points and sealed his spot in the last eight with a rasping forehand winner.


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Peter Thompson