De Minaur Reaches Second Final Of 2024 After Draper Retirement In Third Set

De Minaur Reaches Second Final Of 2024 After Draper Retirement In Third Set

by Jordan Reynolds

Last updated

Alex de Minaur is through to the final of the Mexican Open in Acapulco after Jack Draper retired in the deciding set.

The Australian has played the best tennis of his life in the last 12 months. His achievements including reaching the final at the Queen's Club, and he will be joining Carlos Alcaraz at that event again this year.

De Minaur also made a final in Mexico last year. That was at the Los Cabos Open, where Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated him for a 10th consecutive time to claim the title.

However, the 25-year-old got his revenge against Tsitsipas in the previous round in Acapulco. De Minaur beat Tsitsipas for the first time at the 11th attempt, despite the two-time Grand Slam runner-up winning the opening set.

Draper had also been in great form at the tournament. He easily triumphed in his opening three matches and will have been hopeful of upsetting the world No. 9. But that challenge eventually came to an unfortunate end in the third set.

After four comfortable holds of serve to start the match, de Minaur was successful with his first break point of the match in the fifth game. He was getting consistently good depth on his shots in the slow conditions in Acapulco, and his opponent could not cope.

De Minaur broke again in the final game of the set after a string of errors from Draper's racket. The Australian took the first 6-3 and seemed to be coasting easily towards the final.

Surprisingly, de Minaur's level dropped considerably in the following set. Four errors in his opening service game gave Draper his first break of the match. Draper then saved a break point in the following game to back up the break.

Although de Minaur fended off a break point himself to hold in the next game, the seven-time title winner never looked comfortable throughout the set. Draper claimed the set 6-2 to force a decider.

Sadly for Draper, there were signs that he was starting to struggle physically towards the end of the second set. He was feeling sick and struggling to control his breathing at times.

Those issues became more serious in the third set. After falling 4-0 behind, a visibly ill Draper elected to retire. That means de Minaur is into his second final in three tournaments after being the runner-up in Rotterdam two weeks ago.


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