Zverev claims title with crushing win over Thiem — Madrid Open

Zverev claims title with crushing win over Thiem — Madrid Open”

Rafael Nadal suffered his first clay-court defeat in nearly a year on Friday, when the world No. 1 was shocked 7-5, 6-3 by Austria's Dominic Thiem in the Madrid Masters quarter-finals. The way I started was also well.

"I wasn't putting myself in position".

That was as good as it got for the Spaniard, as Thiem broke again for 4-3, held to love for 5-3 and secured victory with another blistering forehand. "If you let him play aggressive, he's going to punish you a lot". "When you receive that ball, it's very hard to respond". I don't think I faced breakpoints in the whole tournament.

Dominic Thiem followed up his sensational victory over world No 1 Rafael Nadal by easing past Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-2 on Saturday to reach the Madrid Masters final.

Zverev will face Denis Shapovalov after he outlasted Kyle Edmund, 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-4. He's in a really great form.

Nadal had not dropped a set on clay since his reverse against Thiem at the Internazionali d'Italia last May.

Zverev played with a swagger on Sunday that suggests that his record in the majors will improve soon.

"Winning two titles in two weeks is great. Like this I should go in every match against him". The Austrian also defeated Nadal in the 2017 Rome quarter-finals.

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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.

The Italian Open will be the last stop for most of the top players before Paris, and seeds Tomas Berdych, Thiem, Grigor Dimitrov, Jack Sock and Novak Djokovic are among those with opening-round challenges.

"Of course, this is the ATP ranking".

I mentioned yesterday that Zverev's level this week has been stunning, and of a world-class level.

"It gave me a huge boost of confidence", he said. Playing the event in Munich probably helped me. This is the reality of this year. It doesn't mean that I'm done. I'm not even thinking about that. At the end of the year we will see what happens. I'm more than thrilled to be there. "That's pretty good company to be keeping". "This is the reality". Is not a drama that I lost the match, no? "What makes me happy is I feel fit, can compete with possibilities every single week".

The players in Madrid this week have remarked on the quickness of the courts and that has suited Zverev, whose demon serve was nearly untouchable in the opening set. It was not my day. But that is part of the sport. That's part of the sport in general. "The differences are very small".

For Thiem, he will have to overturn a 0-6 head-to-head record against Anderson if he wants to reach the Madrid final for a second consecutive year.

South African Anderson, seeded sixth, was playing in his first Masters 1000 semi-final but faded after a solid start.

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