APRIL 21 - MAY 4, 2025

Cerúndolo sinks two-time champion Zverev

Francisco Cerúndolo was not daunted by the 13-centimetre height between him and the man on the other side of the net, Alexander Zverev. Solid from the baseline, opening up angles, playing drop shots and daring passes, the Argentine played out of his skin on Tuesday on the clay of the Arantxa Sánchez Stadium.

The Buenos Aires native was ruthless as he ousted the German 2018 and 2021 champion from the Mutua Madrid Open in just one and half hours (6-3, 6-4) with 19 winners and converting two of his three chances to break the world No. 5’s serve.

“This is by far my best win of the year and one of the best in my career. I am super happy because it is a win that I have been looking for for a long time this year and I worked a lot for it. Two days ago I beat Tommy Paul, a Top-15 and also a great player, and it gave me a lot of confidence and today I played really good because I needed another kind of level against a guy as good as Zverev”, he explained after defeating Zverev.

This is the fourth time in his career that Cerúndolo has set foot in the quarter-finals of a Masters 1000 and on Wednesday, when he locks horns with US player Taylor Fritz (7-6[2], 6-4 vs Hubert Hurkacz), he will be bidding to match his semi-final finish in Miami (2022).

“So it is another quarterfinals in Masters 1000 for me and I am super happy to be here again and hopefully I can win and keep going””, he said of the fact that he is back in the antepenultimate round of a tournament of this category after two years away.

This is the tenth time in twenty-two editions of the MMOPEN that an Argentine tennis player has been among the last eight contenders for the title: Agustín Calleri (2002), Juan Ignacio Chela (2003), David Nalbandian (2004-07)  and Juan Martín del Potro (2008-09 and 2012). The player from Tandil reached the semis the second time around while the Cordoba native is the only of his countrymen to have lifted the trophy (2007).

Regarding the fact that he has brought his country back to the latter rounds in the Caja Magica, Cerúndolo mentioned that he had bumped into Del Potro. “I saw him here two days ago before playing against Tommy Paul. It’s unbelievable to be the first Argentinian in the Madrid quarterfinals in twelve years”, he concluded.