ATP Acapulco: Alexander Zverev embraces early loss and cold handshake

Daniel Altmaier defeated the top seed in the first round

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Acapulco: Alexander Zverev embraces early loss and cold handshake
© Matthew Stockman / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Following a tight loss in the Los Cabos semi-final, Alexander Zverev experienced an early loss in Acapulco. The former champion in Mexico fell 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to his compatriot Daniel Altmaier in the first round after two hours and 26 minutes.

Irritated by an early exit, Zverev embraced a cold handshake with his compatriot after the match, turning his focus on Indian Wells. Alexander clinched two points more than Daniel, but not the crucial ones. Altmaier stayed focused and defended six out of seven break points.

He seized two out of three opportunities on the return, breaking a top-10 rival once in sets one and three each and celebrating a notable win. Daniel fired more service winners, and Alexander tamed his strokes more efficiently, although it was not enough to carry him through.

Daniel Altmaier, Acapulco 2024© Matthew Stockman / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The younger German forged a slight advantage in the shortest exchanges, and the more experienced one erased the deficit in the most advanced rallies.

Altmaier held at 30 in the first game of the encounter with a service winner, and Zverev responded with a powerful serve in game two for 1-1. The top seed landed an ace in the fourth game, holding at love and leveling the score at 2-2.

Daniel grabbed the fifth game with a volley winner at the net and made a push on the return in the next one. Zverev hit a double fault and faced two break points, spraying another on the first and falling 4-2 behind. Altmaier opened a 5-2 gap with a service winner and served for the opener in game nine.

Daniel clinched it with a service winner, moving 6-3 in front after 41 minutes.

Daniel Altmaier defeated Alexander Zverev in three sets.

They served well in the opening five games of the second set, with Zverev moving 3-2 up with a hold at love after a service winner.

Alexander clinched his only break in the sixth game, moving 4-2 in front and settling into a fine rhythm. The former champion fired a mighty forehand down the line winner in the seventh game, cementing the lead and moving closer to a decider.

Zverev served for the set at 5-3 and faced a break point after a loose backhand. He defended it with a service winner and clinched the set with a volley winner at the net, introducing a decider after an hour and 27 minutes.

Alexander could have built an early advantage in the third set, earning two break points in the first game.

Alexander Zverev, Acapulco 2024© Matthew Stockman / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Altmaier denied them with winners and produced a vital hold.

Daniel grabbed a break in the second game with a volley winner at the net, moving in front and firing a backhand winner in the next one for a massive 3-0 advantage. Altmaier saved a break point in game five with a powerful serve and held for a 4-1 lead.

Zverev painted a forehand crosscourt winner in the seventh game, making one last push on the return and creating two break chances. Altmaier erased them with winners and fired an unreturned serve for a 5-2 lead. The younger German served for the win at 5-3 and landed a forehand winner for match points.

He seized the first with a forced error, celebrating his fourth top-10 win and moving into the second round. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Frosty handshake from Zverev after his R1 loss in Acapulco 🥶 <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Olly 🎾🇬🇧 (@Olly_Tennis_) <a href="">February 28, 2024</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Atp Acapulco Alexander Zverev Daniel Altmaier