Schwartzman Wins Argentine Battle In Los Cabos
Third seed Diego Schwartzman booked his place in the final of the Abierto de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex in Los Cabos, but it came at the expense of a close friend. The 26-year-old defeated second seed and fellow Argentine Guido Pella 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in an entertaining semi-final on Friday.
It was clear that Schwartzman and Pella's match would be competitive after 45 minutes were needed to complete the first six games, but the third seed grabbed the first break of the match at 3-2 in the opening set. The slight advantage was all Schwartzman needed. Pella saved four set points on his serve at 2-5, but Schwartzman held in the next game and took the early advantage.
Pella was far from discouraged. The second seed responded brilliantly as he raced to a 4-0 lead in the second set and ultimately levelled the match. But in another drastic momentum shift, it was Schwartzman who jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the decider.
The third seed continued to apply pressure in his return games, racking up 18 break points on the night and converting four. A forehand sent long by Pella on Schwartzman's first match point wrapped up play after two hours and 18 minutes. Schwartzman's win evened his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Pella at 2-2.
Schwartzman seeks his first ATP Tour title of the year after finishing runner-up in February in Buenos Aires (l. to Cecchinato). He also defeated Kei Nishikori to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final in May at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia.
Awaiting Schwartzman in the championship match is fifth-seeded American Taylor Fritz, who continued his outstanding form with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over seventh-seeded Moldovan Radu Albot. The 21-year-old hammered nine aces and won 89 per cent of his first-serve points (25/28) to advance in 71 minutes.
“I feel really good. I played a really clean match,” said Fritz. “I didn’t make too many mistakes and didn’t give him too many chances on my serve and I created chances on his serve. It is a really good feeling to play a good match going into the final.”
Fritz has prevailed in 13 of his past 15 matches, which include his first ATP Tour title in June at the Nature Valley International (d. Querrey) and a runner-up finish at the BB&T Atlanta Open (l. to De Minaur). He sits at a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 28, but is projected to crack the Top 25 on Monday if he can take the title.
“[Diego] is a really good player. He is fast. He fights really hard and I have played him before and I won that match,” said Fritz. “I feel like I have an idea of what I need to do and it is just going to be [a matter of] if I can do it.”
Inglot/Krajicek Through To Doubles Final
Top seeds Dominic Inglot and Austin Krajicek reached their second ATP Tour doubles final in as many weeks with a 6-2, 3-6, 10-3 victory over Jonathan Erlich and Divij Sharan. Inglot/Krajicek saved two championship points to prevail last week in Atlanta (d. Bryan/Bryan) and won their first ATP Tour doubles title as a team this June in 's-Hertogenbosch (d. Daniell/Koolhof).