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Alexander Zverev overcomes a shaky start to see off Laslo Djere in straight sets to advance to his third Acapulco quarter-final.

Zverev To Battle Ruud for Acapulco SF Berth

German denies World No. 54 to book quarter-final place

Alexander Zverev will contest his third Acapulco quarter-final in four years, following the second seed’s straight-sets triumph over Serbian Laslo Djere on Wednesday night. The German shook a slow start and secured his passage 6-4, 6-3 at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC.

It was a wayward Zverev early on as the pair traded four straight breaks on a flurry of wild errors, before both began to find their range on serve. Luck deserted the Serbian when serving at 4-all as he completely lost grip of his racquet on a humid night to double fault and handed the World No. 7 the crucial break to serve for the set.

“I've known him since we were juniors and every time we played was extremely long, but that was back in the day,” Zverev said in his on-court interview. “I'm happy with today's win and he's improved a lot since then.”

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It was an opportunity Zverev did not waste. He secured it 6-4 when Djere slapped a defensive slice forehand long and looked to assert his authority with an immediate break to open the second set. While unable to consolidate, the German made his move with a break for 4-3 and advanced when Djere pushed a backhand long.

“I think today what showed the most is that I got better with the match,” Zverev said. “I started off extremely sloppy, started off with a lot of unforced errors.

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“The longer the match went on the better I started playing and this is something that is very important for me. When I get into a rhythm I feel very comfortable on court and that's how I felt today.”

Zverev will look to equal his Acapulco run from two of the past three years when he meets Norwegian Casper Ruud for a semi-final berth. He finished runner-up to Nick Kyrgios two years ago and fell in the semi-finals to Juan Martin del Potro the year before.

“Casper Ruud is someone who's come up the ranks extremely fast the last couple of months, couple of years,” Zverev said. “Yeah he's somebody to look out for definitely.”

Eighth seed Ruud narrowly prevailed over Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor to reach the quarter-finals. The World No. 25 needed two hours and 18 minutes to edge through, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3).

Cameron Norrie ensured there would be an unseeded semi-finalist in Acapulco in 2021 after his 6-4, 6-3 upset of No. 7 seed Fabio Fognini on Wednesday night. The World No. 61 broke three times in the one-hour, 42-minute affair to set a quarter-final clash against Dominik Koepfer.

World No. 71 Koepfer pulled off a 6-4, 6-2 victory over No. 4 seed Milos Raonic.The German was stronger on serve than the Canadian as he conceded only four points on first serve and five on his second serve in the 72-minute outing. It marked the first time since his run to the fourth round of the 2019 US Open that Koepfer won consecutive hard-court matches in a tour-level main draw.

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