Alex de Minaur defeats Casper Ruud to defend Mexican Open title | tennis

Alex de Minaur continued the hottest start to the season of his blossoming career with a classy straight sets final victory over Casper Ruud to successfully defend his Mexican Open title.

Third seed de Minaur outclassed Norway’s three-time Grand Slam runner-up 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 57 minutes on Sunday to claim his eighth ATP title – and first of the year.

Australia’s world No. 9, known for his lightning speed and tireless counter-punching, set up his latest victory with a confident serving performance.

De Minaur dropped just five points on serve as he took the first set in 52 minutes, with the only break coming in the third game.

He was particularly determined on his first serve, winning all but two points after landing his first throw of the rally.

The 25-year-old defeated fifth seed Ruud twice more to secure the victory, joining David Ferrer (2010-12), Nicolas Almagro (2008-09) and former world number 1 Thomas Muster (1993-96). , winning consecutive Mexican Open crowns.

De Minaur was playing his 16th ATP Tour final and second of the year after losing to Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner in Rotterdam last month.

It was a rare defeat against the tour’s elite stars.

It’s barely March and de Minaur has already won seven top-15 scalps of the year.

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He defeated world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, as well as Alexander Zverev and Taylor Fritz in the Australian summer, and has since added Andrey Rublev, Stefano Tsitsipas, Grigor Dimitrov and the now 12th-ranked Ruud to his growing list of victims.

De Minaur’s success in Acapulco follows Jordan Thompson’s maiden ATP title win last week, also in Mexico in Los Cabos.

And Thompson also fended off Ruud in the final.

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