Matteo Berrettini enters first Masters 1000 final, to face Alexander Zverev

Matteo Berrettini put on a superb show by beating Casper Ruud in straight sets to enter the final of the Madrid Masters where he will face Alexander Zverev.

Matteo Berrettini in a file photo. (Image credit: Twitter)

Matteo Berrettini put on a fantastic show against Casper Rudd as he entered his first Masters tournament final. Berrettini defeated Ruud 6-4,6-4 in the semi-final to set up a clash with Alexander Zverev in the final. Zverev earlier overcame his losing streak against Dominic Thiem to win a tough match. 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.

For Matteo Berrettini, the Madrid final continues his great run. After suffering an abdominal injury in the Australian Open earlier in the year, the Italian won the Belgrade Open last month. However, overcoming Zverev on current form might be difficult. The German beat Rafael Nadal for the third straight time and also overcame Thiem, who has reached the French Open final twice.

Berrettini’s serve his asset

Berrettini had reserved his best for Ruud, especially on the serve. Speaking after the end of the match, Berrettini focused on how he worked out his opponent. “I was just playing more aggressive. He (Ruud) is kind of like me, he likes to run around the forehand and play with spin. But I guess today I was playing better than him. The other time he beat me, so it’s always a great fight against him. He [reached] three semi-finals in a row [also Monte-Carlo and Munich] so he was feeling confident,” Berrettini said.

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.

Ahead of the French Open, Nadal will be worried. He has now fallen early in two clay-court Masters tournaments ahead of the Grand Slam in Paris, after going out in the Monte Carlo quarter-finals last month before winning in Barcelona. Even in Barcelona, he had to save a championship point before beating Stefanos Tsitsipas.

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