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Tennis-Zverev puts on Madrid masterclass to book Berrettini clash in final - Metro US

Tennis-Zverev puts on Madrid masterclass to book Berrettini clash in final

ATP Masters 1000 - Madrid Open

MADRID (Reuters) -Alexander Zverev avenged his defeat by Dominic Thiem in last year’s U.S. Open final in clinical fashion on Saturday, beating the Austrian 6-3 6-4 to reach the final of the Madrid Open.

Zverev, who beat top seed and tournament favourite Rafa Nadal in straight sets in the quarter-finals on Friday, will meet Matteo Berrettini in Sunday’s final after the Italian beat Norway’s Casper Ruud 6-4 6-4 in the second semi-final.

Germany’s Zverev, who was champion in Madrid in 2018, made a strong start, breaking Thiem early in each set in what turned out to be a routine victory, despite a swirling wind at Caja Magica.

“I’m quite happy to win this one,” fifth seed Zverev said in a courtside interview. “We’ve had some fantastic matches. I think we played the biggest matches in the world.

“We’ve played Masters finals, Grand Slam finals, we’re still developing, we’re going to go on for a few more years and hopefully we’ll play a few more amazing matches.

“I’m definitely looking forward to playing in another big (Grand Slam) final and I hope I can turn it my way this time.”

Thiem held an 8-2 head-to-head advantage over Zverev coming into the semi-final, winning their last four meetings, including his come-from-behind victory at last year’s U.S. Open where he claimed his first major title.

The third seed’s only defeat to Zverev on clay was in the final in Madrid two years ago, but he never really settled into his stride on Saturday, struggling with his first serve and making 20 unforced errors, including three double faults.

Zverev, on the other hand, sent down six aces and 25 winners as he cruised to victory.

“It was a little bit of a weirder match than against Rafa,” the German added. “I feel like the conditions were difficult. It was clearly windy today. Sometimes (that’s) not easy but I’m definitely happy with the win.”

Eighth seed Berrettini, who has dropped only one set in the tournament, will be aiming to win his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title against Zverev on Sunday.

“I saw him (Zverev), he’s playing really good,” said Berrettini, who sent down five aces against Ruud.

“He beat Rafa (Nadal) and Dominic (Thiem), probably the best players on clay. It’s going to be a challenging match.”

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma and Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Pritha Sarkar and Himani Sarkar)

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