Alexander Zverev has coped with the pressure of a Grand Slam final and not even an earthquake could jangle the nerves of the German youngster during his Mexican Open semi-final against Dominik Koepfer on Friday.
The magnitude 5.7 quake with an epicenter about 60km southeast of San Marcos, a two-hour drive from Acapulco, sent tremors through the stadium for about 30 seconds with Koepfer serving in the opening game of the second set.
“I didn’t know what happened. Neither did Dominik,” said Zverev, who eased to a 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) victory. “We just heard the crowd. I guess the lights started shaking and the crowd felt it more than we did.”
“We were running around the court, so we had to play a point during the earthquake,” he said. “We didn’t feel much, but still obviously I know it happens here in Acapulco. I’ve witnessed it here before, so I guess it’s normal.”
“Last year we had a similar thing during my match or practice. It was bigger though, because I saw the lights shaking. I didn’t see anything today. Everything proved to be stable... I hope everyone is fine at the area that is closest to the earthquake,” he said.
Briton Neal Skupski was hoping for a relaxing massage after securing a place in the doubles final alongside brother Ken Skupski, but the quake sent him quickly scrambling for his clothing.
“It was really strange,” Neal Skupski said. “I thought it was some massage technique that he was doing, because the bed was shaking. I just thought it was normal.”
“Then an alarm went off on his phone and that’s when I thought: ‘This is a bit strange.’ Then he said: ‘We’re going to go outside because of an earthquake.’ I couldn’t put my clothes on quick enough to get out of the building,” he said.
Zverev is to play Stefanos Tsitsipas in the singles final today.
Tsitsipas advanced with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Italian qualifier Lorenzo Musetti.
At the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Lloyd Harris of South Africa defeated Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 7-6 (8/6), while Aslan Karatsev of Russia eliminated compatriot Andrey Rublev 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 to reach the final.
Harris and Karatsev were to begin the final shortly after press time last night.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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