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Kyrgios claims victory in Acapulco

4 March 2019

TENNIS: Nick Kyrgios has crowned a glorious week in Acapulco with the fifth ATP title of his career, claiming victory over world No.3 Alexander Zverev in a straight-sets final, 6-3, 6-4.

Top-seeded Zverev hadn’t dropped a set en route to the final, but couldn’t win any against Kyrgios, who will regain his place in the world’s top 35 after hoisting his first trophy in almost 14 months.

“I just want to congratulate Sascha on an amazing week … You’re so professional, you’re an example to any tennis player, and I think I can take a leaf out of your book. And maybe I can catch you on some titles one day,” Kyrgios said, alluding to Zverev’s tally of 10 career titles.

“This is an amazing tournament, I loved it two years ago, have some crazy memories here. The crowd’s amazing, everyone involved … I appreciate the support.

“I’m definitely gonna come here next year and every year I play the sport, so I’ll be back.”

Kyrgios began strongly, breaking serve in the fourth game and recovering from 15-40 down in the fifth to build a 4-1 lead.

Zverev took out his frustrations on his racquet and it seemed to help somewhat, with the German refocusing to power through his next two service games.

Yet despite earning another break point in the seventh game, Zverev couldn’t peg back Kyrgios, who fired an off-forehand winner to take the opening set.

Kyrgios then broke immediately in the second set, and appeared to have taken a stranglehold of the final.

Yet from 1-0, 30-0 up, Kyrgios went off the boil. He dropped serve with a double fault, and Zverev, who held for 2-1, then moved ahead 15-40 in the fourth game.

That was the extent of Kyrgios’ lapse. He saved both break points, using the drop shot several times to great effect against Zverev, who played most points well behind the baseline.

Kyrgios then fired two clean return winners and a forehand passing shot winner to break for 3-2, and from that point was mostly in control.

Down 15-40 in the sixth game, his served bailed him out of trouble and from deuce, a forehand winner and an ace down the T extended his lead to 4-2.

He held serve twice more to seal victory, earning his second title at ATP 500 level.

Now having won four of his seven career meetings against Zverev, Kyrgios is on Monday projected to vault 41 places to world No.31.

“Well done to Nick. He beat three top-10 players and Stan who is a Grand Slam champion. If you beat four players like that in a 500 event, you deserve to win it,” a gracious Zverev said during the trophy presentation.

“He is the real champion of this week. I think everybody needs to give credit to the people that deserve credit, and I think definitely Nick this week you showed to be the best player, so well done to you.”

Fellow countrymen John Millman and Alex De Minaur made it as far as the quarterfinals, before being downed by John Isner and Zverev respectively.

AAP/Tennis Australia

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