De Minaur downs Ruud to defend Mexican Open title

Sports |  IANS  | Published :

Acapulco, March 3 (IANSNS) Alex de Minaur secured his first title of the 2024 season after the Australian downed Casper Ruud to defend his crown at the Mexican Open.

The third-seeded De Minaur prevailed 6-4, 6-4 in the ATP 500 championship match one-hour, 57-minute victory for a second straight triumph on the Mexican Pacific Coast and clinch his eighth ATP Tour trophy late on Saturday night.

He converted three of four break points he earned in his first ATP Head-to-Head clash with Ruud since he defeated the Norwegian at the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals.

With a title triumph, the Australian became the first player to defend the title in Acapulco since the tournament switched to hard courts in 2014. Overall, the fourth player in the history of the tournament to win a two-time championship, joining the feats of the Austrian Thomas Muster (winner of 1993, 1994, 1995 editions and 1996), the Spanish Nicolas Almagro (winner of the 2008 and 2009 editions already in Acapulco) and David Ferrer (three-time champion in 2010, 2011 and 2012), according to tournament website.

"Acapulco has been a very good place to me for my tennis career. The first time I won a 500, and [now] the first time I’ve defended a title in my career. I feel at home here and it’s a great place to be," said De Minaur.

With his title run, De Minaur ensured he will on Monday remain in the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings. Despite defeating Ruud in Saturday’s final, however, the Australian will drop one spot below the Norwegian to No. 10.

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