— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) February 23, 2022
The 35-year-old Spaniard defeated USA’s Dennis Kudla 6-3, 6-2 in Mexican Open to set a date with his practice partner Stefan Kozlov, in the round last 16.
The impressive outing was Nadal’s 11th consecutive win to start a year equalling his previous tally.
World number five Nadal broke 100th-ranked Kudla in the fourth game for a 3-1 lead and held from there to claim the first set of their first career meeting.
Nadal then broke Kudla twice in the second set for a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 win in an hour and 16 minutes.
Nadal fired eight aces and won 36 of 40 points on his serve in the dominating outing.
The Spaniard seeks his 91st career ATP title and third of the year, having also won a Slam tuneup tournament at Melbourne.
Nadal won his men’s record 21st Grand Slam title at last month’s Australian Open, breaking the career mark he had shared with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
With him feeling like the best he has felt in years, it will not be a surprise if he adds to his 21 grandslams this year.