Alexander Zverev battled past Stefanos Tsitsipas in a dream all-Top 10 final in Acapulco on Saturday night, 6-4, 7-6 (3), to win his biggest title since capturing the season-ending ATP Finals in 2018.
He had reached the final of Acapulco once before, in 2019, but finished runner-up to Nick Kyrgios.
“It’s amazing,” Zverev said. “Two years ago my brother and I won the doubles here, and I lost a tough final to Kyrgios, and now I’m extremely happy to finally win the singles trophy.
“This means a lot to me.”
Tsitsipas had won the pair’s last five head-to-head meetings, and early on in the match it looked like he might keep that streak going as he raced out to a 4-1 lead. But Zverev caught fire from there, rattling off five games in a row—including two breaks—to sneak out the 48-minute first set.
The two players stayed on serve through 4-all in the second set when Zverev pounced one more time, breaking for 5-4 and a chance to serve it out—but the match took another twist from there.
Not only did Tsitsipas fight off a match point in that game with a barrage of big forehands, he broke back for 5-all and then fought off a whopping six break points in the next game to hold for 6-5.
Tsitsipas even brought up a set point with Zverev serving at 5-6, 30-40, but the No. 7-ranked German rifled an unreturnable serve up the T, held to take the second set to a tie-break, then broke away from 2-all in the breaker, winning five of the last six points—including three clean winners—to close it out.
The German dropped to the court in celebration.
“I’m really happy. I hope I can build from that,” Zverev said in his on-court interview.
“I’m looking forward to the next tournaments with how I’m playing.”
Zverev had not only lost his last five meetings against No. 5 Tsitsipas, but coming into this match he had lost the last seven sets they’d played, and 10 of the last 11. “I feel like this year is different a little bit,” the German said of their head-to-head. “We played a lot in 2019 and the beginning of 2020, when I was not kind of myself, in a way. And today was definitely a better quality match from me.”
It was Zverev’s 14th career ATP title, and his biggest since winning the ATP Finals in November 2018—all three of his titles since then have come at ATP 250s. He’s now 14-9 in his career in finals.
Tsitsipas had reached his eighth career final at the ATP 500 level or bigger, and 13th overall ATP final.
“I take this week very positively,” he told ATPTour.com. “I think it is great being able to play at such an intensity and level. I was very close once again to clinch and get that title, but it wasn’t meant to be.”