Alexander Zverev wins Mexican Open match in latest-ever ATP finish

Alexander Zverev of Germany returns a ball during a match against to Jenson Brooksby of the U.S. at the Mexican Open in Acapulco, Mexico, Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022. (AP)

ACAPULCO, Mexico – Defending champion Alexander Zverev outlasted Jenson Brooksby 3-6, 7-6 (10), 6-2 at the Mexican Open in a first-round match that ended at 4:55 a.m. – the latest-ever finish to an ATP match.

Tuesday morning's finish broke the record set at the 2008 Australian Open, when Lleyton Hewitt defeated Marcos Baghdatis in a match that ended at 4:34 a.m.

"Right now, I'm just happy to have won," the third-ranked Zverev said. "I don't know how Jenson feels. Must be difficult but happy to be a part of history. It was an incredible battle."

Zverev's victory in 3 hours, 22 minutes also set a record for the longest match in the 29-year-old history of the hard-court outdoor tournament in Acapulco, a popular beach resort.

It was an odd first day at the Arena GNP because the previous two tournament records for longest match were set earlier, when Stefan Kozlov defeated Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (8), 5-7, 6-3 in 3 hours, 21 minutes after John Isner beat Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3) in 3 hours, 13 minutes.

Matches started at 6 p.m. due to the intense heat during the day in Acapulco.

The second-seeded Zverev will play Peter Gojowczyk in the second round.

Zverev is one of four Top 5 players in the draw alongside Australian Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev, fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas and fifth-seeded Rafael Nadal, who earned his record 21st Grand Slam singles title last month in Melbourne.

The Mexican Open is an ATP 500 tournament. Since that category started in 2009, only Dubai in 2012 and Beijing in 2013 have featured four of the Top 5 players in the world.

Kozlov overcame leg cramps and upset Dimitrov to move into a second-round match against Nadal.

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