Alexander Zverev had little difficulty in overcoming Dominic Thiem in the semifinals of the Mutua Madrid Open on Saturday. The 6-3, 6-4 win at the Manolo Santana Stadium helped the German reach only his second final in Madrid. It is to be noted that Zverev had suffered a final-set tie-break loss to Dominic Thiem in last year’s US Open final. This was a perfect response from the German after suffering the heartbreaking defeat at the Flushing Meadows in 2020.
Fresh from beating Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, the World No. 6 was at his lethal best, breaking serve on three occasions to snap a four-match losing streak against Thiem. “We have had some fantastic matches. We have played the biggest matches in the world. We have played Masters 1000 finals, we have played Grand Slam finals and [the rivalry] is still developing,” Zverev said in his post-match interview.
“It is still going to go on for a few more years. Hopefully, we will play a few more amazing matches,” he added. Zverev has enjoyed an unbelievable week to reach his second final at La Caja Magica. He is yet to drop a set in this year’s tournament. In the previous rounds, the 24-year-old had won against former World No. 4 Kei Nishikori, Monte-Carlo semi-finalist Daniel Evans and five-time champion Nadal.
“It is going to mean a lot to me [if I can win the final]. I am definitely looking forward to it,” Zverev said. “I am definitely looking forward to playing another big final and I hope I can turn it my way this time.”
Zverev needed to stay focused at the beginning of the match when he had to save a break point at 1-1. From there on the German was unstoppable, quickly gaining the only break of the first set to see out the opener with little trouble.
The German continued to dominate the proceedings in the second set to establish a 4-1 lead. Despite dropping serve late on, he converted his second match point to reach the final. Zverev will meet either Belgrade champion Matteo Berrettini or Casper Ruud in Sunday’s final.
“He was just the better player today. I 100 per cent accept that,” Thiem said. “In general, I’m super happy with the week. I would have never expected to be in the semi-finals. I cannot complain about anything.”