Acapulco | After the longest day in Acapulco, Zverev, Medvedev and Nadal through to second round

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The defending champion Alexander Zverev, the second seed at the ‘Abierto Mexicano Telcel Presentado por HSBC’ ATP 500 event, more commonly known as the Mexican Open, outlasted America’s rising star Jenson Brooksby in a record setting marathon opening round at the Arena GNP venue.

I don’t know how Jenson feels. Must be difficult but happy to be a part of history. It was an incredible battle. Alexander Zverev

The German’s 3-6 7-6(10) 6-2 victory finally ended at 4:55am on Tuesday morning to become the latest-finishing match on the ATP Tour, breaking the previous record of 4:34am set at the Australian Open in 2008 by Lleyton Hewitt’s win over Marcos Baghdatis.

“Right now, I’m just happy to have won,” the world No.3 said in his post-match interview.

“I don’t know how Jenson feels. Must be difficult but happy to be a part of history. It was an incredible battle.”

Zverev’s victory in 3 hours, 2-minutes also set a record for the longest match in the 29-year-old history of the hard-court outdoor tournament in Acapulco, a popular beach resort.

The day itself was bizarre in that the three matches played on the Grandstand Court all broke the ‘longest match at Acapulco’ record.

First John Isner beat Fernado Verdasco 7-5 6-7(4) 7-6(3) in 3 hours, 13-minutes and then Stefan Kozlov defeated Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(8) 5-7 6-3 in 3 hours, 21-minutes!

And with the day’s play starting at 6.00pm because of the heat in the popular holiday resort, its not surprising that with matches lasting nearly four hours, that some players are playing before their breakfast!

On this occasion it also meant that all other matches on the Grandstand Court schedule had to be postponed to Wednesday when another curious incident occurred.

That was John Millman’s enforced retirement from his first-round match after suffering an eye injury in bizarre circumstances.

The Aussie sustained the injury against Marcos Giron when the American was leading 7-6(3) 2-0 when he appeared to be hit by a ball in his right eye after it had been deflected off his racket frame when returned by Giron while he was walking back to the base line.

Millman immediately dropped his racket and collapsed to the court holding his hand over his right eye and after receiving some attention on court, retired from the contest.

Meanwhile, Daniil Medvedev continued his pursuit of the number-one ranking with a 6-3 6-4 win over Benoit Paire to move into the second round.

The 26-year-old top seed can overtake Novak Djokovic at the top of the word-rankings if he wins the title in Mexico.

The likely biggest challenge for the Russian could be Rafael Nadal, who beat Medvedev in last month’s Australian Open final, and opened his own Acapulco account with a 6-3 6-2 win over American Lucky Loser Denis Kudla.

The Spaniard has won three titles in Acapulco (2005, 2013 and 2020) and will play against Stefan Kozlov in the next round.

Also through is Britain’s No.1 Cameron Norrie, winner of the Delray Beach Open last Sunday, who beat Daniel Altmaier of Germany 7-6(5) 6-2 to set up a meeting with the big serving American, John Isner.

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