Acapulco - Third-seeded German Alexander Zverev reached his
first ATP semi-final of the season on Thursday, beating Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-1
to set up a clash with Juan Martin del Potro in Acapulco.
World number five Zverev, 20, is the highest-ranked player
left in the draw of the hard-court tournament that saw top seed Rafael Nadal
withdraw with nagging hip trouble.
In the semis he'll face former US Open champion del Potro,
who fended off a second-set challenge from third-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem
to triumph 6-2, 7-6 (9/7).
"I was very happy with how I played," said Zverev,
who saved all four break points he faced. "I'm starting to play very well
again, and that's all that matters for me."
Argentina's del Potro saved three set points against Thiem
in the second-set tiebreaker, firing two aces to give himself a match point and
taking the contest when Thiem double-faulted.
In the other semi-final, fifth-seeded South African Kevin
Anderson will take on American Jared Donaldson.
Anderson defeated South Korean Chung Hyeon 7-6 (7/5), -4
while Donaldson beat Spain's Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-1.
Anderson saved six of the seven break points he faced to
reach his third semi-final of the season.
"I felt the first set was really touch and go,"
Anderson said. "I had to save quite a few break points. I felt I played
some of my best tennis down on those break points."
In women's action, top-seeded American Sloane Stephens and
second-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France were both sent packing in the
Switzerland's Stefanie Vogele, ranked 183rd in the world,
stunned reigning US Open champion Stephens 6-4, 5-7, 6-2.
Seventh seed and defending champion Lesia Tsurenko of
Ukraine made short work of Mladenovic, 6-2, 6-2, in a rematch of last year's
Vogele next faces Sweden's Rebecca Peterson, who ousted
fourth seeded Zhang Shuai of China 6-2, 6-1. Tsurenko will take on third-seeded
Australian Daria Gavrilova, who beat Veronica Cepede of Paraguay 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
Results on Thursday in ATP and WTA Mexican Open in Acapulco (x denotes seeding):
Jared Donaldson (USA) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-3, 6-1
Kevin Anderson (RSA x5) bt Chung Hyeon (KOR) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG x6) bt Dominic Thiem (AUT x3) 6-2, 7-6 (9/7)
Alexander Zverev (GER x2) bt Ryan Harrison (USA) 6-4, 6-1
Stefanie Vogele (SUI) bt Sloane Stephens (USA x1) 6-4, 5-7, 6-2
Rebecca Peterson (SWE) bt Shuai Zhang (CHN x4) 6-2, 6-1
Daria Gavrilova (AUS x3) bt Veronica Cepede (PAR) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
Lesia Tsurenko (UKR x7) bt Kristina Mladenovic (FRA x2) 6-2, 6-2