Zverev Reaches Acapulco Final For The First Time
Alexander Zverev is on the verge of capturing his first ATP Tour title of 2019, defeating Brit Cameron Norrie 7-6(0), 6-3 on Friday to reach the final of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC.
"I'm very happy to be in the final. That was the goal at the start of the week," Zverev said.. "This is so far a very special week for me and I hope I can continue it."
The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion has gone one step further than he did on his Acapulco debut last year, when he lost to Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals in straight sets. Zverev, the second seed, has not lost a set this week, getting broken just twice through four matches.
Norrie was fresh off an impressive straight-set quarter-final victory against in-form American Mackenzie McDonald. But he could not reach his second ATP Tour final (Auckland earlier this year), as Zverev was too solid from the baseline. The German did not make many errors, and while Norrie battled, Zverev was never under much pressure in baseline rallies.
Norrie entered the match leading the tournament in first-serve return points won at 45 per cent. But Zverev did well to get ahead in rallies using his first delivery, striking 10 aces and winning 81 per cent of first-serve points. He has won 86 per cent (118/136) of first-serve points this week against #NextGenATP Aussie Alexei Popyrin, David Ferrer, Sydney champion Alex de Minaur and Norrie.
But the key came on second-serve points against the World No. 64 Norrie, as Zverev captured 65 per cent of those points. While he was broken when serving for the first set at 5-4, Zverev shrugged off that hiccup and did not lose a point in the ensuing tie-break.
"It was very tough. It was pretty windy out here, not easy conditions, and his game actually I think fits the wind quite well, so it was not easy," Zverev said. "I'm just happy to be through. At this stage, you've got to win matches, no matter how. I'm just happy to be in the final."
Zverev's Tour-Level Titles & Finals By Year
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Zverev will face Nick Kyrgios for the title, after the Aussie beat 2018 Nitto ATP Finals debutant John Isner in a final-set tie-break that ended just after 1 a.m. local time. The German has split six meetings with Kyrgios. The 21-year-old German is trying to lift a trophy for the fourth consecutive year, and earn his 11th ATP Tour title.
"Nick played two back-to-back unbelievable matches," Zverev said of the Aussie's wins against Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka.
Did You Know?
- From 5-6 in the first set to 3-0 second set, Zverev won 24 of 30 points.
- On Thursday, Zverev and his brother, Mischa Zverev, defeated second seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan 5-7, 6-4, 10-7 to reach the doubles semi-finals.