The 2014 edition of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel—also known as the Mexican Open—was one of the most exciting events of the year, and it featured several of the top stars from the ATP and WTA Tours competing for the championship.
No. 4 seed Gregor Dimitrov defeated No. 5 seed Kevin Anderson for the title on the men’s side, and No. 1 seed Dominika Cibulkova defeated unranked Christina McHale to capture the championship in the women’s tournament.
The tournament was held at the Fairmont Acapulco Princess venue in Acapulco, Mexico, and there were major changes for this year’s event. The outdoor event was typically played on clay each year, but 2014 was the first year the blue hard courts were introduced.
The surface change led to some interesting results.
On the men’s side, top names like No. 1 seed David Ferrer, No. 2 seed Andy Murray and No. 3 seed John Isner helped make the deep tournament even more interesting.
As Murray's coach and former world No. 1 Ivan Lendl pointed out last month, the competition has improved mightily over the years, per The Independent's Paul Newman: "You look at the players in today's game and even guys ranked 200 are good players, so you still have to perform well. In our times when anybody was ranked 200, it was most of the time just glorified practice. That has changed dramatically."
The women’s side was just as intense.
No. 1 seed Dominika Cibulkova, No. 2 seed Eugenie Bouchard and No. 3 seed Kaia Kanepi made this one of the deepest women’s fields in an international tournament thus far in 2014 (not including the Australian Open).
With so much intense action from both the men’s and women’s side of the tournament, tennis fans across the world were treated to incredible action in Mexico.
*Statistics courtesy of the official Abierto Mexicano Telcel website.
|Seed No.||Men's Singles Draw||Women's Singles Draw|
|1||David Ferrer||Dominika Cibulkova|
|2||Andy Murray||Eugenie Bouchard|
|3||John Isner||Kaia Kanepi|
|4||Grigor Dimitrov||Magdalena Rybarikova|
|5||Kevin Anderson||Yvonne Meusburger|
|6||Gilles Simon||Bojana Jovanovski|
|7||Ernests Gulbis||Stefanie Voegele|
|8||Vasek Pospisil||Shuai Zhang|
No. 1 Dominika Cibulkova def. Christina McHale; 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-4
No. 4 Gregor Dimitrov def. No. 5 Kevin Anderson; 7-6(1), 3-6, 7-6 (5)
It took two hours and 54 minutes to complete, but Dominika Cibulkova emerged victorious over Christina McHale in the women's final. Building on her runner-up finish at the Australian Open, Cibulkova won her fourth career title.
McHale, the 21-year-old American runner-up, gave a great effort. She took the second set, but seven double faults cost her the match.
Aside from the errors, the match was fairly even statistically. Cibulkova, a 24-year-old from Slovakia, showed the toughness and discipline needed to prevail.
The men's final also turned into a marathon. After more than three hours, three sets and two tie-breakers, Gregor Dimitrov outlasted Kevin Anderson to capture the title.
He won an epic third-set tiebreaker to clinch the victory. It was the fourth time in five meetings that Dimitrov has beaten Anderson.
Anderson had 13 aces, but he also had seven double faults. Dimitrov was efficient off his second serve. He won 70 percent of his second service points.
He took better advantage of his opportunities and that led to the narrow victory.
No. 5 Kevin Anderson def. Alexandr Dolgopolov; 6-1, 5-7, 6-4
No. 4 Grigor Dimitrov def. No. 2 Andy Murray; 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(3)
No. 1 Dominika Cibulkova def. No. 8 Zhang Shuai; 4-2, Ret.
Christina McHale def. Caroline Garcia; 3-6, 6-2, 7-5
Australian Open champion Dominika Cibulkova is bouncing back after a couple of subpar performances following her Grand Slam victory down under.
Cibulkova didn't even have to play through an entire set on Friday, though, as Zhang Shuai retired after going down 4-2 in the first set of the evening. According to Sian Cowper of Newsmole.co.uk, Shuai appared to suffer an arm injury during the fifth game if the opening set and declared herself unfit to play shortly after.
Even though she didn't have to do too much work, Cibulkova looked excited to be moving into another final, via TV announcer Luis A. Modo.
After the win, she said the tournament has been going exactly according to plan, per the Associated Press (via ESPN.com).
"This is awesome, I came to Mexico looking for a couple of victories to get back on track, and I will be playing for a title," Cibulkova said.
American Christina McHale won in the other women's semifinal, knocking off Caroline Garcia in three sets. It's the first WTA final for the 21-year-old, per Sports Illustrated's Beyond the Baseline. McHale is certainly having a baptism by fire facing off against the 13th-best women's singles player in the world.
Over on the men's side, five seed Kevin Anderson made it to the final after beating Alexandr Dolgopolov, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4. Anderson had an otherworldly 19 aces during the match, winning 43-of-50 points on first serve.
Dolgopolov surrendered 13 break-point opportunities. With that many cracks, there was no way that Anderson would lose this match.
The major upset of the day happened when Grigor Dimitrov knocked out out Andy Murray in the semifinals of this event.
It was a rare victory for the Bulgarian underdog, who was 0-3 lifetime against Murray before this meeting, and he called it the best moment of his career, as per the staff of ATPWorldTour.com:
At the moment it feels like the best win of my career.I always thought Andy was an unbelievable player. We all know how he competes. I was really happy with how I played today. I wanted to win badly. He doesn't give up easily, but I'll take that win in two tie-breaks.
Murray, ranked No. 7 in the world, mounted a comeback after going down 5-4 in the third set, but ultimately the Scotsman was not able to push past his opponent. He succumbed in the wee hours of the morning after a tough battle.
Dimitrov will play Anderson in the finals at 10 p.m. ET on March 1.
No. 5 Kevin Anderson def. No. 1 David Ferrer; 2-6, 2-4 (Retirement)
Alexandr Dolgopolov def. Ivo Karlovic; 6-4, 7-6 (4)
No. 2 Andy Murray def. No. 6 Gilles Simon; 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2
No. 4 Grigor Dimitrov def. No. 7 Ernests Gulbis; 4-6, 7-6 (2), 7-5
No. 1 Dominika Cibulkova def. Marina Erakovic; 6-4, 7-5
No. 8 Shuai Zhang def. Ajla Tomljanovic; 6-1, 5-7, 6-2
Christina McHale def. No. 3 Kaia Kanepi; 6-1, 2-6, 6-4
Caroline Garcia def. No. 2 Eugenie Bouchard; 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
No. 1 seed for the men, David Ferrer, was forced to retire from competition part way through his quarterfinal match with Kevin Anderson.
Ferrer won the first set with ease, 6-2, over the South African. In the second set, however, Ferrer ran into some thigh issues.
The Associated Press reported, via IBNLive, that Ferrer "suffered an inner thigh strain in his left leg," and that the Spaniard said he will have on MRI on Friday.
Ferrer first left the court while tied 2-2 in the second set. He returned, but after losing the next two games, he retired.
Ferrer's exit opens the path for No. 2 seed Andy Murray. Murray almost didn't survive his quarterfinal match with sixth-seeded Gilles Simon, but eventually came through a tight match. TennisTV tweeted the news:
Andy Murray goes through to Friday's semis and will play either Dimitrov or Gulbis. That one up next in Acapulco. pic.twitter.com/QpzBawefVe— TennisTV (@TennisTV) February 28, 2014
Murray got off to a wretched start, but he battled back and pulled out the marathon win. Although he could do without the rough start, Murray's endurance and moments of brilliance in this match are a great sign of his return to form after back surgery.
He plays Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the final, after the No. 4 seed launched a fightback of his own to come from a set down to beat Ernests Gulbis.
No. 1 David Ferrer def. Feliciano Lopez; 7-6(1), 6-2
No. 5 Kevin Anderson def. Sam Querrey; 7-6(2), 6-4
No. 4 Grigor Dimitrov def. Marcos Baghdatis; 6-1, 6-4
No. 7 Ernests Gulbis def. David Goffin; 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(5)
No. 6 Gilles Simon def. Donald Young; 6-4, 6-3
Ivo Karlovic def. Dudi Sela; 7-6(4), 6-2
Alexandr Dolgopolov def. Jeremy Chardy; 6-3, 6-4
No. 2 Andy Murray def. Joao Sousa; 6-3, 6-4
Ajla Tomljanovic def. Victoria Duval; 6-3, 6-0
No. 8 Shuai Zhang def. Aleksandra Wozniak; 6-1, 6-4
Christina McHale def. Kimiko Date-Krumm; 7-5, 6-1
No. 3 Kaia Kanepi def. Julia Goerges; 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(6)
Caroline Garcia def. Sharon Fichman; 6-2, 7-5
No. 2 Eugenie Bouchard def. Lara Arruabarrena; 7-5, 6-2
Marina Erakovic def. No. 6 Bojana Jovanovski; 6-1, 6-4
No. 1 Dominika Cibulkova def. Yanina Wickmayer; 7-5, 6-2
The last remaining Americans were dumped out of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel on Wednesday. Donald Young lost in straight sets to six seed Gilles Simon, and Sam Querrey fell in straights sets as well to No. 5 Kevin Anderson. John Isner had already been upset in the first round by Ivo Karlovic.
The results were only marginally better in the women's draw, as Christina McHale knocked off Kimiko Date-Krumm, 7-5, 6-1, while Victoria Duval lost, 3-6, 0-6, per Sports Illustrated's Beyond the Baseline:
Americans in Acapulco: Anderson d. Querrey 76 64, Simon d. Young 64 63, Tomljanovic d. Duval 63 60. McHale d. Date-Krumm 75 61.— Beyond The Baseline (@SI_BTBaseline) February 27, 2014
There weren't any major surprises in the men's draw, as the top seeds all advanced to the quarterfinals.
Top seed David Ferrer had a tough time in the first set against Feliciano Lopez, getting pushed a tiebreak. Ferrer would go on to roll through and win the set, distancing himself from Lopez in the second set.
The only seeded men's player who was in danger of getting upset was No. 7 Ernests Gulbis, who dropped the second set against David Goffin and won the third in a tiebreak.
The top three seeds in the women's draw advanced to the next round, with No. 1 Dominika Cibulkova and No. 2 Eugenie Bouchard both winning 7-5, 6-2. No. 3 Kaia Kanepi needed three sets to defeat Julia Goerges. The match went back and forth, with neither player ceding an inch. Eventually, Kanepi displayed her fortitude in the third-set tiebreak.
No. 1 David Ferrer def. Mikhail Kukushkin; 6-2, 6-3
Ivo Karlovic def. No. 3 John Isner; 7-6(4), 7-6(5)
Feliciano Lopez def. Edouard Roger-Vasselin; 6-4, 6-2
No. 6 Gilles Simon def. Tim Smyczek; 6-1, 6-2
No. 7 Ernests Gulbis def. Yen-Hsun Lu; 6-1, 6-1
Alexandr Dolgopolov def. No. 8 Vasek Pospisil; 6-2, 6-2
No. 5 Kevin Anderson def. Stephane Robert; 6-2, 7-6(7)
Joao Sousa def. Adrian Mannarino; 1-6, 6-2, 6-2
No. 2 Andy Murray def. Pablo Andujar; 3-6, 6-1, 6-2
No. 4 Grigor Dimitrov def. Marinko Matosevic; 7-5, 6-1
Marcos Baghdatis def. Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela; 6-2, 6-4
David Goffin def. Lukasz Kubot; 6-4, 2-6, 6-4
Donald Young def.
No. 1 Dominika Cibulkova def. Urszula Radwanska; 6-3, 6-4
Yanina Wickmayer def. Lesia Tsurenko; 7-6(4), 6-4
Sharon Fichman def. No. 5 Yvonne Meusburger; 6-1, 6-3
No. 3 Kaia Kanepi def. Jana Cepelova; 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
No. 8 Shuai Zhang def. Madison Keys; 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
Aleksandra Wozniak def. Ashleigh Barty; 7-6(5), 5-7, 6-2
Victoria Duval def. Iveta Melzer; 6-2, 6-4
Both top seeds are still around in Acapulco, as David Ferrer beat Mikhail Kukushkin in straight sets, while Dominika Cibulkova did the same to Urszula Radwanska. Radwanska offered some resistance, but she couldn't consistently win on her second serve, which was her ultimate undoing.
The biggest upset on the day as No. 3 John Isner going down to Ivo Karlovic. As you'd guess from the match going into two tiebreaks, it was close throughout, with neither guy conceding anything on their first serve.
The difference was that Isner only won 13 of his 23 second-serve opportunities, compared to 21-for-23 for Karlovic.
"I'm very disappointed, obviously," said Isner after the match, per the Associated Press (via ESPN.com). "I wanted to do well in here, is a good surface for me, but I played against a guy who played well against me."
Isner wasn't the only player upset in the men's draw as eight seed Vasek Pospisil was unceremoniously dropped out by Alexandr Dolgopolov. Pospisil lost 14 of his 22 points on second serve.
No. 5 Yvonne Meusburger was the only seeded player to lose in the women's draw. She had four double faults in her 1-6, 3-6 loss, surrendering seven break-point opportunities as well. It was quite the win for Sharon Fichman, one of two qualifiers to prevail on Tuesday.
Dudi Sela def. Alejandro Falla; 6-1, 6-4
Jeremy Chardy def. Matthew Ebden; 7-5, 6-0
Sam Querrey def. Tigre Hank; 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-3
Ajla Tomljanovic def. No. 4 Magdalena Rybarikova; 6-1, 6-3
No. 6 Bojana Jovanovski def. Tornado Alicia Black; 6-4, 7-5
Kimiko Date-Krumm def. No. 7 Stefanie Voegele; 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4
Marina Erakovic def. Ana Sofia Sanchez; 6-2, 6-2
Christina McHale def. Kristina Mladenovic; 6-4, 6-2
First-round play at the 2014 Mexican Open kicked off on Monday in Acapulco as the men and women got underway.
There were no superstars on display in the men's draw on Monday, but there were some dominant performances as both Dudi Sela and Jeremy Chardy punched their tickets to the second round. Sela picked apart Alejandro Falla's serve and capitalized on his break-point chances en route to a routine straight-sets win.
Meanwhile, Chardy won 75 percent of his total service points and converted on four of five break points to eliminate Australian Matthew Ebden.
Both Sela and Chardy are each one win away from the quarterfinals.
The women's draw saw two seeded players bow out in the opening round. Fourth-seeded Magdalena Rybarikova was knocked off in straight sets by Ajla Tomljanovic in a match that saw the unseeded Croatian win 85 percent of her first-serve points.
The most impressive effort of the day, though, came from 43-year-old Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm, who battled back from a one-set-to-love hole and then a 4-1 deficit in the deciding set to take out seventh-seeded Stefanie Voegele.
Date-Krumm wins 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4. Down 0-3 and BP in the 3rd, giving away a full 20 years to her opponent #immortal— Stephanie Myles (@OpenCourt) February 25, 2014
Date-Krumm saved 10 of 16 break points in the come-from-behind victory. Up next, the age-defying star will take on American Christina McHale, who's coming off a straight-sets win over Kristina Mladenovic on Monday.