Three Australians played quarterfinal matches at the ATP 500 event,Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco.
All three were featured on centre-court. First up was Alex de Minaur against the no. 2 seed Alexander Zverev. Nick Kyrgios followed in his match against Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka and finally, it was John Millman against the no. 3 seed from the USA John Isner.
de Minaur and Zverev started with service holds for 2-2.
Embed from Getty Images
The first break point of the match came up after de Minaur served a double fault in the fifth game. The break was converted after de Minaur shanked a shot that then sailed well long.
It was disappointing for the Australian as he held several game points, however, it was the more consistent play from Zverev that won out in the end.
de Minaur had a sniff of a chance to break back straight away as he jumped out to 15-30 before some good second serves from Zverev helped him consolidate the break and give him a 4-2 lead.
Both players then held serve to love to see the score move to 3-5 with de Minaur serving to stay in the set. He held to love and now had to break Zverev and the German had easily won all of his service games so far.
After mis-hitting the ball during the first rally of the 10th service game and seeing it go long, Zverev then sent down some almost unplayable serves to move to 40-15. Zverev served with two set points in hand, he needed just one as de Minaur ran out of patience during a long rally and blasted a shot wide.
After the first set, the winners count was 16-2 in favour of the world no. 3 with unforced errors almost even at 11 for Zverev and 10 for de Minaur
In the seventh game of the second set de Minaur was down two break points. He conceded the break on the first after slicing a backhand long. With the way, Zverev had been serving it was hard to see the German losing from here.
Games went with serve to 5-4 and Zverev stepped up to the line to serve out the match. Zverev comfortably did what he had to do to claim a 6-4, 6-4 victory.
Kyrgios backs up his defeat of Nadal
Embed from Getty Images
Photo: Nick Kyrgios of Australia serves during the quarterfinals match between Nick Kyrgios of Australia and Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland as part of the day 4 of the Telcel Mexican Open 2019 at Mextenis Stadium on February 28, 2019 in Acapulco, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Kyrgios was backing up from his gruelling three-set win over world no. 2 Rafael Nadal. His opponent today was Stan Wawrinka.
Wawrinka hit more winners and had less unforced errors but still lost to Kyrgios. It was 38-31 in the winners column and 28-33 in the unforced errors column. Wawrinka also had more Aces than Kyrgios hitting 15 to 7.
Kyrgios converted three of eight break points while Wawrinka had one from one, that coming in the second set. Where Kyrgios shone was with first serve percentage. He served at 65% to 57% for Wawrinka. Both players won 80% of 1st serve points.
In the first game of the match at 40-30 Kyrgios slipped and lost his balance then fell to the court injuring his racquet hand, he recovered to continue in the point before Wawrinka hit a winner to see the score at deuce. Kyrgios then took time out with the trainer to clean up an abrasion on his knuckle. After treatment Kyrgios served out the game to lead 1-0.
Games went with serve with Kyrgios not facing a break point, while Wawrinka faced one before the 12th game. In the 12th game it was Wawrinka that hit a shot wide to give Kyrgios a look at two break points with the score at 15-40.
Wawrinka served a second serve that Kyrgios jumped on and forced Wawrinka deep to his forehand corner, Wawrinka wasn’t able to get much depth on his nest shot and Kyrgios attacked a short ball hitting a winner to claim the first set.
In the second set, it was Wawrinka that broke in the ninth game after he jumped out to 0-40, the Swiss player took the game when Kyrgios double-faulted. Wawrinka was serving for the set at 5-4 however Kyrgios broke back with some brilliant play.
The set then went to a tiebreaker that Wawrinka won to send the match to a decider.
Embed from Getty Images
In the third set Kyrgios again did not face a break point. The Australian earned four against Wawrinka’s serve and crucially he converted one in the fifth game to jump to a 3-2 lead. A big forehand from Kyrgios forced Wawrinka to hit long and concede the game.
During the change of ends Krygios had the trainer give him some powder to add into his water to help stop cramping. It was now a battle of mind over body to see if Kyrgios could hold on and get the win.
With the luxury of having a big serve Kyrgios was able to limp his way to victory.
Another solid win for the often criticised Australian. Kyrgios has been more focussed and has played brilliant tennis against Nadal and now Wawrinka.
Millman falls to Isner in an early morning thriller
Following the Kyrgios v Wawrinka match came another long three-set battle between John Millman and John Isner. It ended at just before 2:30 am.
Millman was serving for the opening set at 5-3 and was up 40-15 after hitting a great down-the-line winner. With two set points against him, Isner up the tempo. He blasted shots from the baseline to force some errors from Millman, then drilled a winner for a break point. Millman hit just long to concede the game.
Isner was now getting on top and won a string of points to take the set to a tie-breaker. In the tie-break it was Isner that blasted his way to win the set.
Both players were able to get through the second set without dropping serve. This time it was Millman that won the tie-break to send the match into a deciding set.
The match was decided in another tie-breaker. Millman helped Isner with a double fault at 3-4. Millman won the next point to see Isner serving at 5-4. Two huge serves followed and the match was over although Millman did get onto the match point serve but just missed hitting a down the line winner off a big second serve.
Isner faces Kyrgios in one semifinal. Alexander Zverev will play Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie in the first semifinal. Norrie defeated USA’s Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-2.