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Zverev vs Ferrer tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Zverev to end four-time champion Ferrer’s Acapulco story

Hannah Wilks in ATP Tour 27 Feb 2019
  • Alexander Zverev faces David Ferrer in the second round of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel
  • Zverev vs Ferrer is live from Acapulco on Wednesday at 10pm local/4am GMT
Alexander Zverev (PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty Images)

David Ferrer is a four-time champion at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel but the sun is setting on his career – will second seed Alexander Zverev send him out of Acapulco for the last time?

Alexander Zverev faces the retiring David Ferrer for a place in the quarterfinals of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel on Wednesday.

Alexander Zverev made a winning return to competition in Acapulco on Monday (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Zverev hasn’t been much in evidence in recent weeks, thanks to an ankle injury sustained in practice before the Australian Open. Following a fourth-round defeat to Milos Raonic in straight sets in Melbourne, Zverev turned out for Germany during the Davis Cup qualifiers and – somewhat ironically given that he has declared he definitely won’t be playing in the Finals – sent them sailing through with two straight-sets wins over extremely modest Hungarian opposition. But he pulled out of Rotterdam on the basis of the ankle injury, meaning that he’s basically been out of action for a month – a long time by the 21-year-old’s standards, although probably quite smart scheduling given the length of the season and the (justifiable) expectations that the world no. 3 will go deep in many of the events he does play.

Zverev had little trouble in making a winning return to action in Acapulco, where he made the semifinals on his debut in 2018 before falling to eventual champion Juan Martin del Potro, who is not defending his title this year. Up against Alexei Popyrin, the Australian teenager who made a big impression at the Australian Open, Zverev was almost totally untroubled in a 6-3, 6-3 victory. Popyrin is a talent, but he’s still raw and had made it into the main draw at the 500-level Abierto Mexicano Telcel via a retirement and a walkover; Zverev only lost one point on his first serve in the 72-match, banging down 13 aces and dominating behind both deliveries as well as breaking Popyrin three times.

All in all it was a splendid start to March for Zverev, who has runner-up points to defend in Miami later on this month. But the Nitto ATP Finals champion will be anything but satisfied as he looks to move on in Acapulco.

David Ferrer knows all about moving on in Acapulco. The Spaniard owns a quartet of Abierto Mexicano Telcel trophies – three coming in a row when the tournament was played on clay and Ferrer compiled a 19-match winning streak, claiming the title in 2010 (d. Juan Carlos Ferrero), 2011 (d. Nicolas Almagro) and 2012 (d. Fernando Verdasco) before Rafael Nadal ended his reign of terror in another all-Spanish final in 2013; and winning once again after the tournament switched to hard courts, in 2015 when he beat Kei Nishikori in the final.

David Ferrer celebrates victory in Acapulco (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Unsurprisingly, then, given his stellar record, Ferrer has chosen to make the Abierto Mexicano Telcel one of the stops on his retirement tour as the 36-year-old prepares to call time on his glittering career. The former world no. 3 and French Open finalist, for so long a stalwart if unassuming presence at the top of the game, can no longer compete physically at his desired level for more than a couple of matches at a time and intends to retire in Madrid, but not before playing a scattering of tournaments in 2019 – and, as if to remind everybody just how good he still is despite a myriad of injuries, he’s won at least one match at each of those events, beating Robin Haase in Auckland before having to retire against Pablo Carreno Busta, defeating Malek Jaziri in Buenos Aires before losing a lengthy one to Albert Ramos-Vinolas and, in Acapulco, beating Tennys Sandgren 7-6(5), 7-6(3) to book his place in the second round.

Sandgren won the ASB Classic in Auckland in January but hasn’t won a match since, going 0-4 and signally failing to defend his surprise quarterfinal points at the Australian Open. Ferrer subdued him, but it was hard work and took just over two hours, which is not an insignificant factor when considering how much energy he’ll be able to bring to the Zverev clash.

‘I feel very happy. It was very emotional for me,’ Ferrer said. ‘The crowd helped me a lot because I know these are going to be my last matches here, so I’m just trying to do my best on every point.’

Slightly surprisingly given the 15 years which separate them, Zverev and Ferrer have played quite a few times, with the Spaniard winning the first two and Zverev winning the subsequent three, most recently during a Davis Cup tie played on clay in 2018. Ferrer is an absolutely superb (and underrated) returner, so there is no chance that Zverev will get the kind of numbers on serve he recorded against Popyrin, and the German is definitely going to have to work for this one (assuming Ferrer holds up physically throughout). But if he stays disciplined and aggressive, he should be able to complete the unenviable task of ending Ferrer’s story in Acapulco.

Zverev vs Ferrer Abierto Mexicano Telcel tennis is live from Acapulco from 10pm local/4am GMT

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Zverev vs Ferrer tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Zverev to end four-time champion Ferrer’s Acapulco story

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