Tsitsipas and Zverev book Acapulco title clash; Djokovic pulls out of Miami - GulfToday

Tsitsipas and Zverev book Acapulco title clash; Djokovic pulls out of Miami


Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in action during his semi-final match against Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti on Friday. Reuters

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev will duel for the ATP title in Acapulco, the top two seeds advancing with straight-set semi-final wins on Friday.

World number five Tsitsipas of Greece beat Italian qualifier Lorenzo Musetti 6-1, 6-3 to reach his first final of 2021.

Zverev was shaken but not unnerved by an earthquake in the second set of his 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) victory over fellow German Dominik Koepfer.

But Zverev, ranked seventh in the world, kept the pressure on, creating break chances in each of Koepfer’s next three service games and converting at 5-4 for a break that would force the tiebreaker.

Zverev will be seeking a 14th ATP title and his first of the year when he takes on Tsitsipas, a five-time ATP title winner who was playing in his third semi-final of the year after making the final four at the Australian Open and Rotterdam.

Tsitsipas needed just 79 minutes to end the run of 120th-ranked Musetti, the world No. 120 who had reached his second career semi-final in just his fourth ATP main draw appearance.

He stormed through the first set, but didn’t get a break chance in the second until the seventh game, when he broke his 19-year-old Italian opponent at love.

Serving to stay in the match two games later, Musetti fended off three break points before Tsitsipas finally collected the win when the Italian hit a backhand into the net.

Meanwhile, top-ranked Novak Djokovic pulled out of the upcoming Miami Open on Friday, citing coronavirus restrictions as he joined Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on the sideline.

The tournament begins Tuesday, with only 750 fans allowed on the grounds per session. The pandemic is also affecting attendance by players.

“I decided to use this precious time at home to stay with my family,” Djokovic said in a statement. “With all restrictions, I need to find balance in my time on tour and at home.”

Nadal pulled out Tuesday, citing a bad back that bothered him during the Australian Open. Federer, mounting a comeback from knee surgery, withdrew March 1. They’re based overseas, as is Djokovic.

“This has been a difficult year for everyone,” Miami Open tournament director James Blake said in a statement, “but especially for players with families.”


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