After a thrilling week of tennis at the Mexican Open, just four men are left standing in Acapulco. With the Sunshine Double looming large on the horizon, all four men will surely be desperate to maintain their momentum heading into the Indian Wells Masters. But who will reach the final?
Mexican Open Semifinal Predictions
Taylor Fritz vs John Isner
Head-to-head: Isner 2-1 Fritz
This promises to be a good match. Both John Isner and Taylor Fritz have found a rich vein of form at the Mexican Open after making indifferent starts to their 2020 campaigns. In Isner’s defence, he has had to battle a recurrence of the foot injury that disrupted his 2019, with this just his second tournament since retiring injured in the third round at Melbourne Park. But he has not looked a man short of matches, scoring fine wins over Mischa Zverev, Marcos Giron and the in-form Tommy Paul.
Fritz, meanwhile, played some fine tennis to reach the third round at the Australian Open, taking a set off eventual finalist Dominic Thiem there. But he then lost in the second round at the Newport Beach Challenger and in the first round at the Delray Beach Open. However, he has rebounded superbly in Acapulco, battling past John Millman in three sets before dismissing Ugo Humbert and Kyle Edmund, snapping the Briton’s seven match winning streak in the process.
Both men, perhaps unsurprisingly, have been serving well so far in Acapulco. Fritz landed a valuable 11 aces against Edmund, exposing the Briton’s return game, which remains something of a weakness, whilst Isner has fired down 72 aces already. Expect this to be a contest dominated by the server as a result, with long rallies few and far between. But that is a situation Isner is comfortable in and the 34-year-old’s vast experience should give him the edge over his younger compatriot.
Prediction: Isner in 3
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Rafael Nadal vs Grigor Dimitrov
Head-to-head: Nadal 12-1 Dimitrov
It has been a great week for Grigor Dimitrov, one he needed after a poor start to the year. His 6-4 6-4 victory over Stan Wawrinka, which backed up wins over Damir Dzumhur and Adrian Mannarino earlier in the week, was his best for some time and will surely have given him real confidence in his game. But he will need all that confidence and likely more when he steps on to court to face the top seed and world #2 Rafael Nadal, who has been in imperious form so far in Acapulco.
The Spaniard’s hopes of reclaiming the world #1 ranking may have faded in the face of Novak Djokovic’s domination of the field in Dubai, but if Nadal is aware of that, it has certainly not affected the level of his tennis. He opened his campaign with a comprehensive 6-3 6-2 win over his compatriot Pablo Andujar and that has set the tone for his performances throughout the week. In the second round, he proved too strong for Miomir Kecmanovic, winning 6-2 7-5, and he then thrashed Kwon Soon-woo in the last eight, 6-2 6-1.
He also clearly enjoys the match-up with Dimitrov. The Bulgarian has won just one of his 13 meetings with Nadal, which came four years ago in the China Open quarterfinals. That aside, the rivalry has mostly be one way traffic. Nadal has targeted the Dimitrov backhand, exposing the 28-year-old’s weaker wing with ruthless efficiency and though Dimitrov hit that shot well against Wawrinka, expect Nadal to repeat the tactic in Acapulco. And for it to work.
Prediction: Nadal in 2
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