Shelton lights up the Grandstand and goes up against Ruud


  • The Grandstand vibrated with tight duels on the third day of the AMT and at the end Ben Shelton and Casper Ruud are already in the quarterfinals, but Frances Tiafoe said goodbye to the tournament.

Acapulco February 28, 2024.- During the third day of activities of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presented by HSBC, the Grandstand hosted three duels of high level competition with three players within the Top 20 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. While the surprise of the day was the elimination of another American, Ben Shelton and Casper Ruud advanced to the round of 16.

The eighth seed, Frances Tiafoe, opened the action at the Acapulco sunset on the second main court of the Arena GNP Seguros complex; however, he was unable to dominate Dominik Koepfer’s forehand. The German, who was semifinalist in Acapulco in 2021, claimed his fifth victory against a Top 20 player to improve his record to 5-21 and will now face world No. 7 Holger Rune in the quarterfinals.

Later it was the turn of another left-handed young sensation, Ben Shelton, who played alongside Italian Matteo Arnaldi in a two hour 31 minute duel with a score of 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-3 in favor of the American, who had the local fans on their feet for many moments.

Once again Shelton had in his serve the tool that brought him out in a three-set match, where the first set was defined in tie break. For the second, the world No. 42 won the affection of the public by dominating with 82% of points won with a decisive second serve. He broke in the second game to the No. 17 of the ranking and from there began the parade of spectacular points for a definitive third set where he lost the service twice for one of Shelton who finally with the victory is placed for the second time in the quarterfinals of an ATP 500.

After his victory he couldn’t help but smile “I feel tired but very happy to get a win today for such an amazing crowd, but I’m ready to go to sleep… It’s crazy… It’s crazy! It sounded like an American game out there, honestly one of the best crowds I’ve ever played in front of, similar to a Grand Slam, on the Grandstand where it’s all more glued together in a full stadium. It was a very cool experience.”

Finally the sixth seed, Casper Ruud, closed the activity against the Serbian Dusan Lajovic, who was looking to become the first player to reach the quarterfinals on different surfaces of an ATP 500 this 2024, however the former world No. 2 defined the match in an hour 26 minutes of duel. 

In the first set he paraded the best first serve of his last two weeks and hit five aces. For the second set he closed with 90% of points won with his first serve and clinched his passes to the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 7-5 win.

On court 1, two singles matches were played where British Jack Draper has shown that he is having a solid week and that his first round victory over top seed Tommy Paul was not a fluke. Now, his victim was the Japanese lucky looser Yoshihito Nishioka in one hour and eight minutes 6-3, 6-0.

The world No. 50 will play for a ticket to the semifinals against Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, who defeated German Daniel Altmaier in just over an hour and a half 6-4, 6-4 to make his record 2-0 in head-to-head matches. Altmaier had eliminated top-seeded Alexander Zverev in the first round.


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