ATP Acapulco draw preview, predictions and tips

andrew hendrie:

Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev and defending champion Nick Kyrgios headline the ATP 500 Abierto Mexicano Telcel, live from Acapulco this week.

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ATP Acapulco Tournament Information


Dates: February 24-29, 2020
Level: ATP 500
Surface: Hard
Established: 1993
Prize Money: USD $1,845,265
Venue: Acapulco Princess Mundo Imperial
Centre Court Capacity: 7,000
Most titles: David Ferrer, Thomas Muster (4)
Defending champion: Nick Kyrgios

ATP Acapulco Seeds


1. 🇪🇸 Rafael Nadal
2. 🇩🇪 Alexander Zverev
3. 🇨🇭 Stan Wawrinka
4. 🇨🇦 Felix Auger-Aliassime
5. 🇺🇸 John Isner
6. 🇦🇺 Nick Kyrgios
7. 🇧🇬 Grigor Dimitrov
8. 🇷🇸 Dusan Lajovic

ATP Acapulco Ranking Points


Champion: 500
Runner-up: 300
Semi-finalist: 180
Quarter-finalist: 90
Second round: 45
First round: 0

ATP Acapulco Draw Preview


First quarter

Projected quarter-final: Rafael Nadal (1) vs Dusan Lajovic (8) – H2H: Nadal leads 2-0

A two-time champion in Acapulco when the tournament was held on clay, Nadal returns for this first tournament since the Australian Open as he targets his first title in the Mexican city on hardcourt.

After a quarter-final exit in Melbourne to Dominic Thiem, Nadal has a nice draw to ease himself back into competitive action, starting in the opening round with countryman Pablo Andujar before a second round clash with either Miomir Kecmanovic or Alex de Minaur, who is playing for the first time since missing the Australian Open with an abdominal injury.

Lajovic, who was in good form in Australia during the ATP Cup and first major of the year, begins his campaign against Steve Johnson, with the winner to face big-serving Reilly Opelka or the rising Soonwoo Kwon.

It’s certainly a much more favourable draw for Nadal than last year, where he went out in the second round to Nick Kyrgios – it’s tough to see anyone in this section conjuring up a similar upset.

Predicted semi-finalist: Nadal

Second quarter

Projected quarter-final: Stan Wawrinka (3) vs Grigor Dimitrov (7) – H2H: Wawrinka leads 7-4

Wawrinka is also competing for the first time since making the Australian Open quarter-finals – and the Swiss has what could be a tough opening round against American shotmaker Frances Tiafoe. The youngster hasn’t been in great form for a while now, but Tiafoe has the game to take it to anyone when he’s in the zone. If Wawrinka survives, he will have, on paper, a nice second round against the winner of the injured Radu Albot or special entry Pedro Martinez.

Meanwhile, Dimitrov has regressed into some poor form after ending 2019 with semi-finals at the U.S. Open and Paris Masters. The Bulgarian has suffered some very disappointing defeats so far this season at the Australian Open, Montpellier and Rotterdam, but Dimitrov has received a good draw in Acapulco, meeting a qualifier in the first round and the winner of Adrian Mannarino and Cameron Norrie – neither of whom are playing well at the moment – for a spot in the quarter-finals.

Wawrinka and Dimitrov could face off for the 12th time if they each make it to the quarter-finals, and in current form, it’s the three-time major champion who will have the advantage.

Predicted semi-finalist: Wawrinka

Third quarter

Projected quarter-final: Felix Auger-Aliassime (4) vs Nick Kyrgios (6) – H2H: Auger-Aliassime leads 1-0

This is a tough little section as Kyrgios returns to Acapulco looking to defend the title he won in extraordinary circumstances 12 months ago, defeating the likes of Nadal, Wawrinka, John Isner and Alexander Zverev for the silverware. Acapulco was one of two 500 titles Kyrgios captured in 2019, with the Australian also playing his first tournament since the Australian Open after pulling out of Delray Beach injured last week.

Kyrgios has a tricky opener against Auckland champion Ugo Humbert in the first round and if he wins that, would face either countryman John Millman or Taylor Fritz.

Auger-Aliassime is still in Marseille at the time of writing, and you’ve got to think there’s a solid chance of him withdrawing regardless if he wins or not, especially after he also made the Rotterdam final last week. The Canadian has been drawn against a qualifier in the first round, with either New York champion Kyle Edmund or Feliciano Lopez waiting in the second round.

This could be the section for a surprise semi-finalist if Kyrgios is carrying an injury and Auger-Aliassime withdraws…

Predicted semi-finalist: Edmund

Fourth quarter

Projected quarter-final: Alexander Zverev (2) vs John Isner (5) – H2H: Zverev leads 6-1

Isner could have to go through two Zverev’s if he is to reach the semi-finals after he was drawn against wildcard Mischa in the opening round. In saying that, the American was injured at the Australian Open, where he retired in the third round with a knee issue, while he lost in the opening round two weeks ago in New York.

It’s a great chance for Mischa Zverev to grab a much-needed win after tumbling down the rankings over the last year – and the winner has a great second round draw as well against wildcard Gerardo Lopez Villasenor or a qualifier.

Alexander Zverev, playing his first tournament since reaching a maiden slam semi-final at the Australian Open, begins his campaign against Jordan Thompson, who pulled out of Delray Beach injured last week. Zverev is set to face the winner of Mackenzie McDonald or a qualifier for a spot in the quarter-finals, where he could potentially face his brother. It’s a great section for Sascha Zverev and I’d be shocked if he doesn’t make it to the final four.

Semi-finals

Nadal def. Wawrinka
Zverev def. Edmund

Final

Zverev def. Nadal

*******

The 2020 Abierto Mexicano Telcel is live from Acapulco between February 24-29.

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