Zverev overpowers Thiem for Madrid Open title

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It will be the first time Zverev and Thiem will meet for a Masters final 1000, becoming both perhaps a benchmark for upcoming tests of this calibre.

Thiem's confidence was on display in the semi-final Saturday as he dispatched off Kevin Anderson in straight sets - his first win over the American star - in the semi-final.

Alexander Zverev outclassed an error-strewn Dominic Thiem to continue his sublime run on clay with a comprehensive 6-4 6-4 win in Sunday's Madrid Open final. "I'm just happy to be in the final and play for another Masters title".

The reputed clay master, Nadal has admitted before the match that Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem are his greatest threats on clay, and not World No 2, Roger Federer.

In my opinion, this head to head record is utterly irrelevant and simply based 12-month clay data, my model liked Zverev as a marginal [2.12] underdog, pricing him up as a [1.76] favourite.

As I said, winning two titles in two weeks is great.

Coincidentally, it was Thiem who last beat Nadal on clay, at last year's Rome Masters, shortly before the Spaniard rampaged to a 10th French Open title without dropping a set. Zverev broke again to kick off the second set and never had to look back other than surviving being taken to deuce in his third service game.

Zverev and Thiem have met five times previously, and it is the Austrian who has enjoyed the match up most, claiming the win on four of those occasions.

A double fault gave Thiem the decisive break to open the second set and he broke again for a 4-1 lead before securing victory with a service victor as he reached his 15th career final and fifth in a row on clay.

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

"I think he picked up his level", said Shapovalov, a product of Richmond Hill.

The second-seeded German has won 18 consecutive sets since losing the opening set in the first round of the BMW Open last week, and Zverev faced just one break point in the entire tournament.

Five-time Madrid victor Nadal, who will be bidding for an 11th French Open title in Paris later this month, had won his previous 21 matches on clay.

"But, you know, after 14 years being in the position that I have been fighting for, important things, I can lose, I can win".

"We both should be very proud of this handsome final we played".

Anderson is not a natural clay court performer, and didn't really have an answer for a skilled exponent on the surface like Thiem.

The final match in Italy that I want to discuss is David Ferrer against Jack Sock. "To be honest, I thought that I was pretty far away before this week started", Thiem said.

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