Alexander Zverev had to rally from a set deficit to edge past Jenson Brooksby at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in a three-hour, 18-minute monumental clash that was extended till the early hours of Tuesday morning. Zverev, who is the defending champion, also needed to survive two match points in the second-set tie-break. By the time, the final set arrived, the German had regained his top form to win the match 3-6, 7-6, 6-2. Notably, the finish time of 4:55 am marks the latest ever finish to an ATP tennis match. It has beaten Lleyton Hewitt’s clash with Marcos Baghdatis in the 2008 Australian Open that ended at 4:34 am local time.
“Right now I’m happy that I won,” said Zverev after his comeback win. “I don’t know how Jenson feels, but it must be difficult. I’m happy to be a part of history. It was an incredible battle, I think it was an incredible match, and hopefully [there are] many more to come from me this week. Today I didn’t play my best, there’s no doubt about it, but I didn’t give up. I knew that I want to do well [in Acapulco], I’m the defending champion and I want to give myself the best chance to win. I did well to survive today.”
Earlier, Zverev and Brooksby entered the court at around 1:30 am local time. The late start to the match, however, had no effect on the performance levels, with both players engaging in an epic battle to keep the fans entertained until the final point. Overall, it turned out to be an exciting day one action for the crowd gathered at the stadium.
On the court, it was a tight battle from the start before Brooksby applied the pressure on the World No. 3 to gain an advantage in the match. His reward paid off, as he broke the German to love for 5-3 and then converted his first set point to take a crucial lead. The second set was a marathon battle filled with long absorbing rallies. Zverev prevailed in the one-hour, 51-minute set in the tie-break to level the score.
Buoyed by momentum, the German started the decider on the front foot. He broke Brooksby for the first time in the match for a 2-1 lead. From that point on, there was no stopping the German, who went on to wrap the set comfortably and win the match in the process.
“Acapulco is always special to me,” said Zverev. “The crowd is always special. It’s always super loud here, the energy is unbelievable. At 5am the stadium is still quite full. There’s nowhere else in the world where the people appreciate tennis the way they do here.”
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