Cerúndolo shines against Zverev in Madrid: “I was looking for a match like that”

The Argentine will seek the semifinals in Madrid against Fritz.

April 30, 2024

Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

By Staff

Francisco Cerúndolo was with Juan Martín del Potro two days ago, and it seemed that the compatriots passed on that capacity for damage to each other with powerful hits from the back of the court.

Cerundolo shone this Tuesday to beat the German Alexander Zverev, No. 5 in the PIF ATP Rankings, 6-3 and 6-4, and reached the quarterfinals of the Mutua Madrid Open showing his entire repertoire of shots. The last Argentine to be among the best eight of the Spanish tournament? Del Potro, in 2012. For a place in the semifinals, Cerúndolo will face the American Taylor Fritz, who beat the Polish Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(2) and 6-4.

“I was with Delpo and it is always very nice to see him. I am very happy to be in the quarterfinals of a Masters 1000 again, it is very important for me,” said the Argentine and assured: “It was my best match of the year. He is a very good player, it was complicated from the beginning. Super hard. This was one of the games I wanted to win. Things are going to change. “I was looking for a game like this for a long time.”

Cerúndolo showed a clear tactic from the beginning: take the initiative, look for openings and not let Zverev dominate, and boy did he succeed. To that plan, the Argentine added the effective combo of the drop and then the passing. After a first game of more than eight minutes, parity was maintained until the eighth game, in which Cerúndolo managed to break to make the first difference and then take the first set.

A break in the third game of the second set maintained the momentum of the match for Cerúndolo, who was also excellent on serve, almost 80% effective in scoring with his first serve (33/42, according to Infosys ATP Stats). Thus, after ninety minutes of play, Cerúndolo achieved the third victory of his career over a Top rival in the Pif ATP Rankings, after beating Casper Ruud twice, in Bastad 2022 and Barcelona 2023.

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“Tennis is very mental, everyone hits it well and I was able to regain confidence,” he predicted about his future. “I have been playing well for two months, I started to get it this week and I am a little more mature after a few years on the Tour,” he defined.

Is there any secret? “Just keep working and wait for the good moment.” For now, Cerúndolo seems to have entered the positive path again and is one of those rivals that few want to cross.

“Fritz is another tough, difficult game, like everyone else. They are the best in the world and I have to play my tennis to continue advancing and I am really looking forward to it.”


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