Rafa Nadal's stunning career-first after ruthless display

Rafa Nadal (pictured) thanking the crowd in Acapulco.
Rafa Nadal (pictured) has his best start to a season ever with a 12-0 record. (Getty Images)

Rafa Nadal has enjoyed his best start to a season after defeating Stefan Kozlov to reach the quarter-final of the Mexican Open.

Nadal, returning from a Tour break after winning the Australian Open, was up against his training partner from a previous day after the pair were involved in a hilarious incident.

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Kozlov, a lucky loser in the draw, had defeated Girgor Dimitrov in the previous round and was keen on adding Nadal to his portfolio.

However, Nadal was in brutal form and brushed aside the American 6-0, 6-3 in Acapulco.

The 35-year-old's win meant it was the best start to the season for him ever, moving to 12-0.

He is 22-2 in Acapulco.

Fans were quick to point out the achievement at the age of 35.

Nadal will now face Tommy Paul in the quarter-final.

Rafa Nadal's honest career admission

Before his match, Nadal was asked if he thought he could regain the World No.1 ranking.

Djokovic is likely to lose his stranglehold on the top spot in the near future because of his vaccination status, which bars him from playing the majority of tournaments as it stands.

If Daniil Medvedev (Australian Open finalist and US Open winner) triumphs in Acapulco he will take over the No.1 spot.

Nadal could add yet another Roland Garros title to his collection, which he would be favourite if reigning champ Djokovic can't play, and would gain more ranking points.

But, the World No.5 - who has spent more than 200 weeks as World No.1 - made the candid admission that there is no goal to regain the top spot.

The 35-year-old Spaniard will be more selective of the tournaments he plays and admitted the ranking is too far beyond him.

Rafael Nadal (pictured) celebrates after defeating Stefan Kozlov during their Mexico ATP Open match.
Rafael Nadal (pictured) celebrates after defeating Stefan Kozlov during their Mexico ATP Open match. (Photo by PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images)

"Physical problems were preventing me from ever finishing No. 1," Nadal said in Acapulco.

"I have other goals, and I'm not going to pursue it because it would be an error to pursue it.

"There are a lot of young players prepared to play all the events they need to fight for it. I have to be more selective and I'm not going to alter my calendar, not to fight for more points in the rankings."

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