20 April, 2024
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De Minaur retains Mexican Open title with Ruud victory

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Loved-up Alex de Minaur has placed the champagne on ice after continuing the hottest season start of his flourishing career with a quality straight-sets final triumph over Casper Ruud to successfully defend his Mexican Open title.

Third-seeded de Minaur outclassed Norway’s three-time grand slam runner-up 6-4 6-4 in one hour, 57 minutes on Sunday to capture his eighth ATP title – and first of the year.

But rather than bask in his glory, Australia’s world No.9 was planning to make an early morning dash to the US to watch his British girlfriend Katie Boulter in action in her maiden WTA Tour final.

Only hours earlier on Sunday, Boulter upset third seed Emma Navarro 6-3 6-1 to book a title clash with 2024 Australian Open quarter-finalist Marta Kostyuk at the San Diego Open.

“I’m looking forward to that,” de Minaur said.

 Alex de Minaur on his way to his eighth ATP title. Image by AP PHOTO 

Renowned for his lightning speed and relentless counter-punching, de Minaur set up his latest victory with an imperious serving display.  

De Minaur dropped only five points on serve in taking the opening set in 52 minutes, with the sole break in the third game.

He was especially clinical on his first serve, winning all but two points after landing his opening delivery of the rally.

The 25-year-old broke fifth-seeded Ruud twice more to seal victory and join David Ferrer (2010-12), Nicolas Almagro (2008-09) and one-time world No.1 Thomas Muster (1993-96) in securing successive Mexican Open crowns.

 Casper Ruud couldn’t make inroads against Alex de Minaur’s service in the final. Image by AP PHOTO 

“It’s been an amazing week,” de Minaur said.

“It’s probably a week I didn’t really expect. I came into Mexico not feeling my best and just kept telling myself to keep giving myself chances.

“I think today I played my best match of the tournament by far.

“Acapulco has been a very good place for me and my tennis career – first time I’ve won an ATP 500, first time I’ve defended a title in my career.

“I feel at home here.”

De Minaur was contesting his 16th ATP Tour final, and second of the year, after losing to Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner last month in Rotterdam.

That was a rare defeat against the tour’s elite stars.

Barely into March and de Minaur has already claimed seven top-15 scalps for the year.

He conquered world No.1 Novak Djokovic, plus Alexander Zverev and Taylor Fritz during the Australian summer and has since added Andrey Rublev, Stefano Tsitsipas, Grigor Dimitrov and now 12th-ranked Ruud to his growing list of victims.

De Minaur’s success in Acapulco follows fellow Sydneysider Jordan Thompson’s maiden ATP title win last week, also in Mexico in Los Cabos.

And Thompson also denied Ruud in the final.

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