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De Minaur overcomes Paul to take Acapulco title, first at the ATP 500 level

Alex de Minaur outlasts Tommy Paul in the Acapulco final on Saturday for the seventh ATP title of his career. Paul was bidding for his second title.

Alex de Minaur, Acapulco 2023 Alex de Minaur, Acapulco 2023 | © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Alex de Minaur is no stranger to winning ATP titles, but he accomplished something he had never done before on Saturday night in Acapulco.

Following six previous triumphs at the 250 level, De Minaur triumphed in a 500 by beating Tommy Paul 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the final of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel. The 24-year-old Australian battled back from a set down to prevail after two hours and 27 minutes.

Paul was coming off the longest match in Acapulco history, a three-hour and 25-minute battle against fellow American Taylor Fritz during semifinal action on Friday night. As such, it was not surprising to see that Paul did not have quite as much left in the tank for the final set as De Minaur.

“Huge, like my semi-finals against Rune” :De Minaur

Still, the recent Australian Open semi-finalist did not go away without a fight. He earned five break points in the opening game of the third but could not capitalize. When De Minaur finally held serve, he was off to the races.

“It was huge,” De Minaur said of that service game. “It was exactly like my semi-finals against Holger (Rune). I had that in the back of my mind. I just told myself to keep pushing. If I could just get out of that game, the momentum was going to switch.”

The world No 22 is now 7-4 lifetime in ATP finals. He had previously lost 500 finals in Washington, DC (2018) and Basel (2019). Paul is now 1-1 in finals.

Both of the Acapulco finalists will be in the Top 20 at the ATP rankings on Monday. De Minaur will be ranked 18 and Paul, 19.

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