David Ferrer and Alexandr Dolgopolov do battle for the 11th time on tour when they meet in the second round of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel ATP 500 event in Acapulco on Wednesday.
Watch and bet on David Ferrer v Alexandr Dolgopolov Abierto Mexicano Telcel tennis live from Acapulco at 365. Their round two clash begins at 4.00pm local time on Wednesday (10.00pm GMT).
A four-time champion and last year’s winner in Acapulco, Ferrer broke the serve of Australian John Millman on five occasions to ease into the second round with a 6-4 6-2 win on Tuesday night. Currently possessing a 30-5 record at the event, Ferrer is aiming to become the first player in history to claim the Acapulco title five times, to go along with his victories in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.
Ferrer consistently plays some of his best tennis in the alluring coastal paradise of Acapulco, thriving in the humid heat of the city where matches don’t start until 4.00pm in the early evening. Ferrer did what he needed to do to fight off the spirited effort of Millman, but he did see his serve broken twice, and some shaky opening set wobbles were evident of his overall lacklustre form throughout 2016 so far.
Suffering disappointing losses to lower-ranked players in Illya Marchenko (Doha), Jack Sock (Auckland), Nicolas Almagro (Buenos Aires) and Dominic Thiem (Rio de Janeiro) already this season, the 33-year-old Ferrer will be determined to set the record straight and defend his title in Acapulco this week. He’s already slipped two spots to World No. 8 after failing to defend another ATP 500 title in Rio last week. It certainly won’t be easy however when Ferrer takes on the mercurial Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Alexandr Dolgopolov (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
Capable of almost anything on court (sublime and disastrous), Dolgopolov posted a solid 7-5 7-6(4) victory over Steve Johnson in his opening round contest on Tuesday. There were question marks over Dolgopolov’s fitness heading into the tournament, with a shoulder injury forcing him to withdraw before his quarter-final clash in Rio last week with Rafael Nadal.
It was unfortunate timing for Dolgopolov, who was set to contest his second quarter-final of the season (lost to Dimitrov in Sydney), and with Nadal continuing his worrying slump, the Ukrainian perhaps would have been in with a solid shot of picking up the win and going on to strongly challenge for the title.
It was not to be however, but now Dolgopolov - seemingly recovered from whatever was troubling him - has another chance to go deep in an ATP 500 event this week. He’s had success over Ferrer in the past, winning two of their eight meetings - but both victories came on clay.
Ferrer is certainly yet to reach top gear so far in 2016, but in Acapulco, he is a different beast. He loves the conditions and is willing to do whatever it takes to prevail in the heat and humidity. Can Dolgopolov muster up the strength and desire to hang with the Spaniard for up to three hours with shoulder concerns that forced him to withdraw from a match last week? It will be a magnificent effort if he can.