The Acapulco tournament has thrown up a few surprise results this week with none of the four seeds making the final. Instead it is a battle of the big hitters. As Kevin Anderson and Juan Martin Del Potro face off for the Acapulco title. Which giant will take the $1m prize money home tonight?
Route to the Final
Fifth seed Kevin Anderson has possibly played the easier route to the Acapulco final. A first round dispatch of Radu Albot hardly broke the South American into a sweat. Another straight set victory over world number #24 Adrian Mannarino took Anderson into quarter final in fine fashion.
Next up came wonderkid Hyeon Chung, who made the semi final of the Australian Open this year. In a tight match, it was 18 aces from Anderson that tipped the balance in his favour. A hard fought match went the big servers way winning 7-6 6-4. 21 year-old Jared Donaldson stood in the way for Anderson’s glimpse of glory. The world number #59 managed to take a set off the 31 year-old, but couldn’t halt his progress as Anderson came through 6-2 4-6 6-3.
Juan Martin Del Potro has faced a number of high profile talents to reach the Acapulco final. The experienced Mischa Zverev was a simple first step for the Argentine, as he lost only three games. However, a second round tie against four time Acapulco champion David Ferrer was a much sterner test. Del Potro’s serve came up trumps once again, winning 78% of first serve points. A statistic that was the driving force for his 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory.
Dominic Thiem was the next to fall at the feet of the giant Argentinian. The 2012 US open champion played some of his best tennis of the event, winning 6-2 7-6 in under 2 hours. The semi final saw another youngster face up to Del Potro. This time second seed Alexander Zverev, tipped for the Acapulco title once Rafael Nadal withdrew early in the week. However, the world number #5 was not at his best, winning just 17 return points. The 6’6 big server gasped the opportunity to make the final, coming out with 6-4 6-2 victory.
Who’s serve will come out on top?
Both players are known for their powerful serve. With the match tilting on who can deliver the best service games.
Kevin Anderson has been in fine serving form so far in Acapulco. Hitting 18 aces in his last two matches to make the final. While reaching as high as 88% 1st Serve points won in his first round match against Radu Albot.
While Del Potro has not hit the high numbers in terms of aces. Managing just six in his last match. While his highest this week has been nine coming against the small Spaniard David Ferrer.
A better statistic for the world number #9 is his 1st serve points won. Failing to go below 77% in any of his matches at Acapulco, shows the Argentine in the mood to deliver.
Anderson would seem to be the better serve at the moment and that could pay dividend in the final.
Who wants it more?
The Grand Slam finalist is currently at his career high ranking as world number #8. Something the South African has fought tooth and nail for to rise from #80 in the world last January.
Injuries played their part in Anderson’s decline as they have with Del Potro. The 29 year-old has dealt with a number of wrist setbacks since his tennis peak in 2012. However, he has shown the form of a champion so far this season. Reaching the final in Auckland and the quarter final of the Australian Open demonstrates the right-handed big hitter fancies his chances of claiming his first title of the year at Acapulco.
Del Potro has fought his way through a tougher draw, dispatching some big named players. His forehand is lethal and serve an ever presence.
However, Anderson is in his third final of 2018 at Acapulco and can take his second title in as many weeks. His serving stats are better than his opponents and can move around the caught faster. The South African will take the Acapulco title in the three sets with a number of long battling rally’s expected.