Tommy Paul defeated fellow American and longtime rival Taylor Fritz 6-3, 6-7(2), 7-6(2) in a three-hour marathon match on Friday night and secured a spot in the Mexican Open final.
The pair of 25-year-olds have squared off since they were teenagers. The Americans faced each other for the first time — when Fritz was 13 and Paul was 14 — at the 2011 USTA Boys’ 14s National Championships in San Antonio, Texas.
On Friday, Paul need nearly 3.5 hours to beat the third-seeded Fritz in the semifinal round and became the third American to reach the final in Acapulco. Fritz accomplished the feat in 2020, and Sam Querrey won the tournament in 2017.
Paul, who reached the semifinals in the Australian Open in January, is trying to capture his second career title after Stockholm in 2021.
He will face Alex de Minaur, from Australia, who defeated Denmark’s Hulger Rune 3-6, 7-5 and 6-2.
The eighth-seeded De Minaur is 3-0 against Paul and will play in his first final since Atlanta in 2022, when he won his sixth career title.
South Americans dominate Chile Open semifinals
Three of the four semifinalists at the Chile Open are South American players.
Spain’s Jaume Munar will be the only exception in the clay court tournament after beating Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro on Friday 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. Munar’s next rival will be home-crowd favorite Nicolas Jarry, who beat Yannick Hanfmann of Germany 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Two Argentine players will face off in the other semifinal on Saturday — third-seeded Sebastian Baez will take on Tomas Martin Etcheverry.
Baez overcame Laslo Djere 7-6(4), 6-4. Etcheverry eliminated another Serbian player, Dusan Lajovic, 6-1, 6-2.
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