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Zverev saves two match points to win Acapulco first round in latest-finish in tennis history

Alexander Zverev and Jenson Brooksby went toe-to-toe for three hours and 20 minutes and finished their first round match in Acapulco at 4:555 AM – creating history in the process

Germany's Alexander Zverev in action during his match against Jenson Brooksby of the U.S. at the ATP 500 Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco, Mexico Germany’s Alexander Zverev in action during his match against Jenson Brooksby of the U.S. at the ATP 500 Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco, Mexico Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

ATP 500 Acapulco Results | Schedule

The opening night of the new facility at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel Open in Acapulco, Mexico turned out to be a historic one for more than one reason.

In the first match of the day, John Isner defeated Fernando Verdasco in the longest match ever in Acapulco (3 hours and 13 minutes). That record stood only for a few hours though as Stefan Kozlov beat Grigor Dimitrov in 3 hours and 21 minutes in the second match of the evening.

Defending champion Alexander Zverev and American Jenson Brooksby finally took to the court for the final match well past 1 AM and nearly broke that record as well. Zverev needed 3 hours and 20 minutes to beat the American at 4:55 AM. That made it the latest-finish in tennis history, eclipsing the record of 4:33 AM that was set by Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Bagdhatis at the Australian Open in 2008.

Zverev saves two match points in second set tiebreaker

Brooksby, who was ranked outside the top 300 in early February 2021, has climbed to No 47 in the world rankings and showed just why he is one of the most exciting young players on the tour. Mixing his big groundstrokes with his unconventional slices, the 21-year-old broke the German world No 3 in the eighth game and held his serve to win the first set 6-3. Both players held their serve throughout the second set as the rally exchanges got longer and the players more tired.

Brooksby earned two match points in the tiebreaker – at 6-5 and 10-9 – but Zverev managed to save both of them and finally converted on his fifth set point to take the match into a decider after a 111 minute second set.

In the decider, it was Zverev who got the first break to go up 3-1 and then broke again in the seventh game to complete the 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 victory and advance to the second round.

Zverev, seeded second in the packed draw which features five of the top 6 players in the world, will meet countryman and lucky loser Peter Gojowczyk in the next round.

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