Zverev beats Thiem to Mutua Madrid Open title

Zverev, who did not face a break point all tournament, broke again right at the start of the second but squandered the chance of a double-break two games later as Thiem, conqueror of Rafael Nadal in the last eight, hung on.

Nadal was out of sorts from the start, looking nervous, committing errors, and landing his groundstrokes in the middle of the service box.

Thiem had upset Spanish world No. 1 Rafael Nadal 7-5, 6-3 on Friday. "Now I don't know how to do for the next four hours".

Considering all these factors, I do like Zverev's price today, and he's going to be our recommendation.

Zverev is the defending champion, past year straight-setting Djokovic in the final...

"It was a goal that I set myself. To beat him 4-2, it's a very good result".

'He's a very powerful player, he has a lot of strength, he strikes the ball very hard, very violently, he added. "The 6'6" right-hander has yet to drop serve this week in Madrid, and he hasn't faced a break point since his third-round match against Argentina's Leonardo Mayer.

While Thiem admits the conditions in Madrid suit him perfectly - it is where he reached his first Masters 1000 final previous year - he also believes he produced exceptional tennis to overcome the King of Clay. He's in a really great form. That included in their first meeting in 2016 in the semifinals of the Bavarian International where Thiem won in three sets after dropping the first.

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"Rafa is the favourite, no matter where he plays, on a clay court", Zverev said. "But I was keeping my level up from yesterday, so that was a great thing". "I had to go for shots and go down the line and everything worked today".

If Thiem could string together performances like this with the same kind of consistency that Nadal has shown over many years, it might be the Austrian primed to move into the world number one spot. Nadal will return to action at the Italian Open, which begins on Monday before concluding his clay court campaign at the French Open in June.

"Of course, this is the ATP ranking".

"I've been in this moment before", Zverev said.

"It gave me a huge boost of confidence", Thiem said.

Nonetheless, Zverev has transformed into a consistent player on tour, taking down big names at will, ever since.

Vazquez was tested in the semi-finals against Bayern Munich and will hope he has done enough to convince boss Zinedine Zidane.

  • Megan Austin