It’s been another thrilling week of ATP tennis in Acapulco, and we’ve ended up with a fascinating semifinal line-up. Taylor Fritz and Holger Rune were both tournament contenders when the week started–but they’ve got tough opposition to get past if they hope reach the final. As throughout the week, we will be offering up our predictions on the day’s play. So, who will book their spots in the final?
ATP Acapulco Semifinal Predictions
Taylor Fritz vs Tommy Paul
Head-to-head: 2-1 Fritz
This all-American battle should be a lot of fun. After a shaky start against John Isner, Taylor Fritz has been very impressive this week–not dropping a set since the first round. His aggressive game continues to do damage, and his serve has been great for the most part. He was the tournament favourite heading into this event, so reaching the final should be the minimum aim for him here.
Tommy Paul has also been exceptional this week, not dropping a set so far. This is good to see after his semifinal outing at the Australian Open. There’s a good few similarities that he shares with Fritz–both 25, good servers, and both experts at taking the flat backhand early. It’ll be very interesting to see how this encounter goes. Fritz won their last meeting in Miami, where the conditions are fairly similar. They’re pretty even on the backhand side, but Fritz has the bigger serve and forehand, which I think will be the key difference.
If Fritz can be relentless on return (especially the second serve) as he was against Frances Tiafoe, then he should come out on top. Paul is rapid and an excellent defender/scrambler, so this won’t be easy–but I’ll back the world #5 to come through.
Prediction: Fritz in 3
Holger Rune vs Alex de Minaur
Head-to-head: 2-0 Rune
Another thriller awaits here. Their previous meetings both came on the indoor hard courts at the end of last season. While Rune was fairly comfortable in his win in Basel, their tight Stockholm encounter has me thinking this will also be very close. Rune’s last round was a disappointing one: he blitzed Matteo Berrettini in the first set before the Italian had to retire with yet another injury. Rune’s level has been high this week, but it’s tough to know how things would’ve gone had Berrettini been fit.
Alex de Minaur continues to impress. He’s had a pretty kind draw this week, but has seriously torn through everyone quite immensely. In three matches, he’s dropped just eight games. These conditions no doubt suit him–his improved power game is getting him free points and his movement/speed is just a nightmare for anyone who can’t put him away. He can certainly match up well against Rune, who will look to be the aggressor and take control of points early.
This one is tough to call. Rune’s serve indoors last season was so effective, but not quite as much outdoors at the moment. De Minaur is returning great and will put pressure on the Dane very often, but Rune is so dynamic and he will be matching him for intensity on return throughout. If both players are in form, this could easily go the distance. I’ll pick Rune in a tight contest, as there are more layers to his game than de Minaur’s, and he’s got the better forehand too. He should be able to come up with the answers when he needs to.
Prediction: Rune in 3
Main Photo Credit: Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports