ATP Mexican Open Quarterfinal Predictions Including Rafael Nadal vs Kwon Soon-woo

Rafael Nadal at the Mexican Open

It has been a great start to the week at the Mexican Open and the last eight is now set. With the Sunshine Double looming large on the horizon, every player in the draw will surely be eager to ensure that they make the perfect preparation for the Indian Wells Masters by going deep in Acapulco. But who will book their place in the semifinals?

Mexican Open Quarterfinal Predictions

John Isner vs Tommy Paul

Head-to-head: Isner 1-0 Paul

Tommy Paul arrived at the Mexican Open having made a great start to the season and it has gotten better still for the American in Acapulco. After coming through the qualifying, where he beat Danilo Petrovic, via retirement, and Columbia’s Daniel Elahi Galan, he opened his campaign in the main draw by rallying from a set down to beat his countryman Mackenzie McDonald, 6-7 6-4 6-4. Then, in what was surely the win of his career so far, he ousted second seed and Australian Open semifinalist Alexander Zverev in straight-sets.

But he faces another potentially daunting challenge in the semifinals in the shape of fellow American John Isner. Isner, seeded fifth, is working his way back from an injury that forced him to retire at the Australian Open, but he has played well so far in Acapulco, beating Mischa Zverev and Marcos Giron, both in straight-sets. Crucially, his serve has been firing, with the big North Carolinian having fired down 50 aces already in Acapulco.

He will need more of the same up against Paul, who is surely full of confidence after his exploits so far at the Mexican Open. But even a good serving day may not be enough for Isner. He did win their only previous meeting in Cincinnati in 2017 at a canter, but Paul has improved considerably in the interim. Isner does the advantage from the line and that should be enough to keep it close. But Paul is playing the better tennis off the ground and that should be enough to take him into the last four.

Prediction: Paul in 3
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Taylor Fritz vs Kyle Edmund

Head-to-head: Fritz 1-0 Edmund

Kyle Edmund had endured a terrible run of form, not helped by a succession of niggling injuries the most serious of which was a knee complaint, over the last 18 months. But the Briton has been in good shape lately, winning the New York Open to claim the second title of his career on his last outing. And he has continued to impress so far in Acapulco, scoring fine wins over Feliciano Lopez, 6-4 6-1, and recent Rotterdam and Marseille finalist Felix Auger-Aliassime, 6-4 6-4.

Taylor Fritz, meanwhile, is still looking for a really standout result, but he has looked sharp so far in Acapulco. He finished strongly to oust John Millman 7-5 3-6 6-1 in the first round before dismissing Ugo Humbert, 6-4 6-1. The latter performance was particularly impressive and will surely give him real confidence heading into this match. But the court-surface in Acapulco seems to be favouring the bigger hitters and Edmund’s forehand gives him a weapon Fritz cannot match. If it is on song, expect him to be the man to reach the semifinals.

Prediction: Edmund in 3
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Stan Wawrinka vs Grigor Dimitrov

Head-to-head: Wawrinka 7-4 Dimitrov

This is becoming something of a problem match-up for Grigor Dimitrov. After winning four matches in a row against Stan Wawrinka between 2014 and 2016, including one particularly impressive 6-1 6-2 thrashing on the clay in Monte Carlo in 2015, the Bulgarian has lost his last five against the three-time Major champion. There have been a number of close contests, with Wawrinka’s latest win a 5-7 6-4 7-6 win last year in Cincinnati, but Dimitrov seems to have developed something of a mental block against the Swiss.

That does not bode well for his chances of avenging those defeats in Acapulco. He has played some good tennis so far at the Mexican Open, beating Damir Dzumhur in straight-sets before edging past Adrian Mannarino 6-7 6-2 7-6 to reach the quarterfinals. Wawrinka, meanwhile, opened his campaign with a battling 6-3 6-7 7-6 win over the resurgent Frances Tiafoe, before out-hitting Pedro Martinez in the second round to win 6-4 6-4.

He looks to have found his range in Acapulco and landed some punishing blows against the Spaniard Martinez. With the courts playing relatively slowly, he should have the chance to do the same against Dimitrov. The Bulgarian, for all his talent, does not possess significant power, relying more on timing. Wawrinka, however, can really open his shoulders and hammer the ball. If he does so against Dimitrov, expect him to prove too strong after another battle between the pair.

Prediction: Wawrinka in 3
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Rafael Nadal vs Kwon Soon-woo

Head-to-head: first meeting

Kwon Soon-woo has made a fine start to his Acapulco campaign, beating the lucky loser Taro Daniel in three-sets in the first round before dismissing the eighth seed Dusan Lajovic  7-6 6-0 on a day to forget for the Serb. That has earned him a shot at top seed Rafael Nadal, with the Spaniard needing to win the Mexican Open and hope Novak Djokovic falls early in Dubai if he is to reclaim the world #1 ranking heading into the Sunshine Double.

Nadal has not yet dropped a set in Acapulco, dismantling his compatriot Pablo Andujar for the loss of just five games in the first round before seeing off the challenge of Miomir Kecmanovic, despite valiant resistance in the second set from the Serbian. He will surely feel full of confidence heading into this match as a result and rightly so. Kwon has played well so far in Acapulco, but there is little in his game to suggest that he can seriously trouble the great Spaniard. Expect a comfortable outing for Nadal.

Prediction: Nadal in 2

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