The top two players in Acapulco have landed safely in the final of the Mexican Open without much trouble and now are expected to provide an exciting battle for the title.
The lights started shaking and the crowd felt it more than we did,. We were running around the court, so we had to play a point during the earthquake. We didn’t feel much, but still obviously I know it happens here in Acapulco Alexander Zverev
The semi-finals were both straight set victories with Alexander Zverev being extended the most by his German compatriot Dominik Koepfer who forced him into a tight second set tie break before capitulating.
The highlight of the match was provided by an earthquake which boiled up in the second set forcing the match to be suspended for a period.
The national seismological institute rated it at a magnitude of 5.7 with the epicentre some 60 kilometres away from the venue.
It struck Cancha Central with Koepfer leading 40-15 in the opening game of the second set resulting in him sending a ball long over the baseline and forcing the TV commentator to declare: “Wow, if you were wondering why the camera was just moving a little bit during that last point, it wasn’t dodgy camerawork — we’re having a little bit of a mini earthquake here!”
It took some time before everyone in the stadium could settle back and when they did, they gave a round of applause as the players resumed.
The quake itself lasted about a minute and didn’t disrupt the players concentration with Zverev settling down to secure a 6-4 7-6(5) win over his unseeded opponent for his 23rd career final after two hours and 10-minutes.
“The lights started shaking and the crowd felt it more than we did,” Zverev said in his post-match press conference. “We were running around the court, so we had to play a point during the earthquake. We didn’t feel much, but still obviously I know it happens here in Acapulco.”
Commenting on the match itself he added: “He’s a very tough player to play right now. He won some incredible matches, beating [Milos] Raonic on a hard court the way that he did is very tough. I think he showed that he is somebody who can play extremely well on this level. Today, honestly, I thought I played a not bad match and he gave me a tough time.”
His final opponent, the top seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, arrived for the championship match much easier defeating Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti, the teenage qualifier, 6-1 6-3.
“Matches like this are really important and I am happy to be playing well. Acapulco has been treating me really well and the fans have been giving me love and support”, said Tsitsipas who has only dropped one set all week.
Tsitsipas ended Musetti’s dream run but predicts a great future for the young Italian tennage rising star, who will break into the top 100 next week for the first time in his career.
“We will definitely see a lot from Lorenzo in the future. He has a wonderful one-handed backhand and creates lots of opportunities. He showed his level this week”, the Greek added.
Looking ahead to the final where he will be bidding for his first 500 level title, Tsitsipas said: “I have played well. I feel comfortable in the court. Zverev has had the same route as me to get to the final.
“I try not to think about the head-to-head matches against him because every match is a new one. Every match is a new lesson and I always try to evaluate and learn from them.
“Matches against Zverev are never easy, so I will take it game by game. I am looking forward to the final. Sasha is someone I have played against in the past and it’s never easy. We are both really hungry and we are both very competitive.”