South African tennis player Kevin Anderson returns the ball to US player Jared Donaldson (out of frame), during their Mexico ATP 500 Open men's single semifinal tennis match in Acapulco, Guerrero state, Mexico on March 2, 2018.
ACAPULCO, Mexico – The 6&39;6” Argentine Juan Martin del Potro outplayed Kevin Anderson for the seventh time in a row in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series (7-0), beating Anderson 6-4, 6-4 to win the ATP World Tour 500 title, his biggest trophy in years at the Mexico Open on Saturday night.
Anderson was playing some of the best tennis of his life. In his only fourth tournament of the year, the South African had already reached his third final of the season at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco.
But none of that mattered to Del Potro as he outplayed Anderson, breaking Anderson once in each set to win the ATP World Tour 500 title.
It&39;s Del Potro&39;s first title of 2018, and he had to fight through a wicked draw, including three Top 10 players, for the crown.
The Argentine beat serve-and-volley throwback Mischa Zverev, four-time Acapulco champion David Ferrer, No. 6 Dominic Thiem and No. 5 Alexander Zverev before toppling No. 8 Anderson in the final.
The Argentine now has 21 tour-level titles and, what might be especially encouraging for Del Potro, this title on 3 March is the earliest in a season he&39;s hoisted a trophy since 2014, when he won the Sydney International (defeating Tomic) during the first week of the year.
It&39;s Del Potro&39;s first ATP World Tour 500 title since 2013 Swiss Indoors Basel (defeating Federer).
The 29-year-old Argentine is projected to rise to No. 8 in the ATP Rankings, switching spots with Anderson.