Defending Champion Alex de Minaur Advances to Mexican Open Final

Alex de Minaur is heading back to the Mexican Open final…

The 25-year-old Spanish & Uruguayan Australian tennis player, the tournament’s defending champion, advanced to the final when Jack Draper retired in the third set on Friday.

Alex de MinaurThe third-seeded de Minaur won the first set 6-3, dropped the second 6-2 and was leading 4-0 in the third when Draper, who was visibly diminished physically, called it quits.

de Minaur will face Casper Ruud, who pulled off an upset by beating second-seeded Holger Rune 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the late match.

“I’m happy to be in the final, but I´m hoping that Jack is doing fine. He has a tremendous talent, and hopefully he can recover for the upcoming tournaments,” de Minaur said. “It’s hard to play when your opponent is not OK physically, but you need to remain focused.”

de Minaur won his ninth straight match in Mexico and became the first defending champion to reach the Acapulco final since David Ferrer in 2013.

de Minaur has seven career ATP titles, with last year at Acapulco his most recent.

Draper, from England, was playing in his first semifinal of an ATP 500 tournament.

In the other semifinal, Ruud lost the first set and then was down 3-1 in the third with Rune serving, but he managed a couple of breaks and held his serve to take the win.

“I did not get the best start, and the third set looked really bad. I just tried to stay in there and it seemed like Holger was struggling, and at the end it worked for me,” Ruud said.

Ruud will try to win his 10th career title, the first one in an ATP 500.

Rune, who is No. 7 in the ATP rankings, lost in the Acapulco semifinals for the second year in a row.

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