Match Report

De Minaur breaks Tsitsipas duck in Acapulco QFs

Defending champ will meet Draper in semi-finals
March 01, 2024
Alex de Minaur celebrates his first win in 11 Lexus ATP Head2Head matches against Stefanos Tsitsipas. By ATP Staff

In a result that could have significant implications on the Top 10 of the PIF ATP Rankings, Alex de Minaur made sure 10 was as high as Stefanos Tsitsipas' perfect streak against him would climb. In their 11th Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting, De Minaur beat Tsitsipas for the first time with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory on Thursday at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC

"Every time I've got to play him I get reminded about my [record in the] matchup," De Minaur said post-match. "I'm glad I got one on the board. I would like to say that no one beats me 11 times in a row, but hey... Stefanos has had my number for a very long time, so I'm glad I was able to get one back."

The defending Acapulco champion entered the event at a career-high of World No. 9 but has dropped to No. 13 in the PIF ATP Live Rankings this week. Tsitsipas is up two places to No. 10 in the PIF ATP Live Rankings, but could still be passed if De Minaur retains his title.

"I know that, especially in the position I'm in, there's going to be a lot of movement every week," De Minaur reasoned. "The way I look at it, I've got a couple of months where I'm not defending many points, so if this week I don't manage to defend my title here, I've got Indian Wells and Miami and the whole clay swing to hopefully rack up some points and move up the rankings."

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After being knocked back by the Greek's power in the opening set, De Minaur steadied behind his lockdown baseline game and turned the match around in the final two sets. He was broken three times in the opening set and twice in the second, but saved the lone break point he faced in the final set. The third seed converted on six of his 12 break chances, according to Infosys ATP Stats, in the two-hour, six-minute match.

The result sent De Minaur through to his 23rd ATP Tour semi-final (15-7) and made him the first Acapulco reigning champion to reach the semi-finals the next year since 2010-12 champion David Ferrer reached the 2013 final.

Tsitsipas, who was denied a third straight Acapulco semi-final and 51st overall at tour-level, fell to 1-10 against Top 10 opponents since the start of 2023. The Greek will return to the Top 10 himself on Monday if De Minaur does not retain his title.

Next up for De Minaur is a semi-final showdown with Jack Draper, who has roared into that stage with the loss of just 11 games in three matches. The 22-year-old Briton beat Miomir Kecmanovic 6-2, 6-2 on Thursday to advance to his fifth tour-level quarter-final (2-2) and his first above the ATP 250 level. 

Draper's run has also lifted him 13 places to No. 37 in the PIF ATP Live Rankings, a position that represents a new career high.

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