Alexander Zverev continues to have Alex de Minaur’s number. The German improved his FedEx ATP Head2Head against the #NextGenATP Aussie to 4-0 with a convincing 6-4, 6-4 win on Thursday to reach the semi-finals of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC.
“We played three times last year and we’re going to play many more times in the future. He’s a great young player with a lot of potential,” said Zverev. “It’s never easy to play him, especially after last night (vs. Ferrer), which was a very emotional match for me and the crowd. I’m happy to get through.”
The second seed is through to the last four in Acapulco for the second straight year. He hasn’t dropped a set in three matches this week and has been especially impressive on serve. Zverev fired 13 aces and won 91 per cent (29/32) of first-serve points against de Minaur, requiring a single break in each set to advance in 75 minutes.
Although de Minaur is off to an impressive start this season, including winning his first title last month at the Sydney International (d. Seppi) and building an 11-3 record overall, he is now 0-11 against Top 10 players.
Next up for Zverev is Brit Cameron Norrie, who reached his first ATP 500 semi-final by easing past American Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-2. McDonald was far from his best and finished the day with 13 winners to 35 unforced errors, but Norrie avoided complicating matters by saving all four break points he faced. The Brit, a runner-up last month at the ASB Classic (l. to Sandgren), improves to 8-4 this season.
“I was nervous. It was a big opportunity for both of us, but I played really solid today. I got a lot of rhythm from my match yesterday against Diego [Schwartzman] and I’m really stoked to get into my first [ATP 500] semi-final,” said Norrie. “I’ve got nothing to lose tomorrow and all the pressure is on [Zverev].”
Naomi Osaka’s agent confirmed to The Associated Press that Osaka has hired Jermaine Jenkins as her new coach. Osaka recently split with coach Sascha Bajin.
Ivan Rakitic said Barcelona are “perfect” for him and he is “happy” at the LaLiga champions amid links to Inter. Rakitic is contracted to Barca until 2021 but the Croatia midfielder’s future is uncertain as Inter, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain reportedly circle. Frenkie de Jong’s arrival at Camp Nou in 2019-20 has […]
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Andy Robertson believes Virgil van Dijk is the best centre-back in the world as he backed the Liverpool star for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year. Van Dijk has established himself among the world’s elite defenders following his £75million arrival from Southampton in January last year, while he has played a key role in […]
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The Los Angeles Lakers defense has taken a notable hit since second-year guard Lonzo Ball went down with an ankle sprain and bone bruise against the Rockets on January 19. It’s been 14 games as of Thursday, and it looks like the count will continue, le…
Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball will miss at least another week because of his Grade 3 ankle sprain, which he sustained Jan. 19 against Houston.
No. 1 seed Joao Sousa fell 6-3, 6-4 to Casper Ruud, and second-seeded Malek Jaziri was upset by Laslo Djere in three sets in the quarterfinals of the Brazil Open on Thursday.
The Road, Presented by WinStar Farm
Bernard Bramante, who owned and trained horses on the old New England circuit for decades, died Tuesday, Feb. 26. He was 78.
#NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime will have another shot at Serbian Laslo Djere. The two Rio Open presented by Claro finalists will meet again on Friday in the quarter-finals of the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo.
Auger-Aliassime reached the last ei…