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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday March 1, 2023

Taro Daniel

Taro Daniel stunned Casper Ruud for his biggest career win by ranking on Wednesday night in Acapulco.

Photo Source: Getty

Casper Ruud struggled mightily in his first-round win over Guido Andreozzi in Acapulco in three sets.

Tennis Express

On Wednesday the fourth-ranked Norwegian struggled once again, and wasn’t so lucky down the stretch as Japan’s Taro Daniel notched the upset to reach the quarterfinals, 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(5).

It was a scratchy effort from Ruud, who hasn’t found his best tennis in 2023, but full credit to Daniel, the 30-year-old qualifier who entered the contest with an 0-8 record against the Top-10 (a win over then 13-ranked Novak Djokovic in 2018 notwithstanding), who played spectacular in the final set to finish off his victory.

“I think every time these victories feel more like my own. The first time I beat Djokovic, it felt a little bit like he was not playing very well,” Daniel said on court in an interview with Nick McCarvel. “But this time I felt like I was really playing against Casper at a high level. I mean obviously he’s still coming back, he’s a bit rusty and all that. But still, I had to win it.”

Daniel saved a pair of match points while serving at 5-6 in the third before taking the final-set breaker. He will face Alex De Minaur, who has dropped just four games in two matches this week, in the quarterfinals.

Ruud, playing his first competitive matches since the Australian Open, where he lost in round two, drops to 3-4 on the season.

It was a good day for the American men around the grounds as four Americans reached the quarterfinals, guaranteeing a finalist from the US in the top half.

Taylor Fritz eased past Denis Shapovalov confidently, 6-4, 6-4, the scoreline sounding closer than the tennis, while Mackenzie McDonald dropped just two games in his takedown of compatriot Brandon Nakashima.

Frances Tiafoe edged 41-year-old Feliciano Lopez, 6-2 7-6, while Tommy Paul advanced when Michael Mmoh succumbed to sudden injury while trailing 6-4, 2-2.

McDonald will face seventh-seeded Paul, while Fritz, the No.3 seed, will face sixth-seeded Tiafoe.

Holger Rune made light work of Portugal’s Nuno Borges to set a quarterfinal with Matteo Berrettini, who defeated Sweden’s Elias Ymer 6-3 6-3.


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