Milos Raonic to challenge Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev on Acapulco debut


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Milos Raonic to challenge Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev on Acapulco debut

The Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco is one of 13 ATP 500 series events in the calendar, also among the most favorite ones among the players. The first edition took place in 1993 and notable names like Thomas Muster, a four-time champion in those initial years, Gustavo Kuerten, Carlos Moya, Rafael Nadal, Nicolas Almagro, and David Ferrer have all won the title there while they still played on clay.

Acapulco switched to hard courts in 2014 to attract the better field of players and it certainly paid off, gathering competitors from the very top like in 2017 when Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic led the pack. The upcoming edition should be entertaining as well, with Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev, Matteo Berrettini, Stan Wawrinka, John Isner, Nick Kyrgios, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Grigor Dimitrov in contention for the title.

Former world no. 3 Milos Raonic has decided to make his first Acapulco trip and join the rest of the field, taking a wild card for a debut at this ATP 500 event. The 29-year-old is currently ranked 32nd, making an early exit in Doha before reaching the fifth Australian Open quarter-final in the last six years, beating Stefanos Tsitsipas and Marin Cilic in straight sets before losing to Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3, 7-6.

Plagued with injuries, Raonic has been ranked outside the top-10 since August 2017, struggling to find the rhythm and deliver his best tennis against the rivals from the top. His last ATP title came in Brisbane at the beginning of 2016 (!!) and there were many ups and downs on his journey ever since, losing the last six ATP finals, including Indian Wells and Wimbledon from four years ago.

Leaving the latest injury behind him, the Canadian played well in Melbourne, beating the last year's semi-finalist and not dropping serve or a set in the first four encounters before that Djokovic clash where he couldn't do much against the eventual champion.

Before Acapulco, Milos will compete in New York and Delray Beach, embracing the swing on his favorite North American hard courts and getting ready for the first Masters 1000 events of the season at Indian Wells and Miami.