Madrid Flashback: Alexander Zverev beats Dominic Thiem for third Masters 1000 crown
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 7438
Alexander Zverev needed only a year to claim three Masters 1000 titles between the spring of 2017 and 2018. Alexander's third Masters 1000 shield came in Madrid 2018 following a flawless performance throughout the week. Zverev toppled Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 19 minutes in the final and became the fifth active player with three Masters 1000 crowns.
It was their sixth meeting and the second win for the German, who dominated his games to keep the pressure on the other side. Zverev dropped 12 points in ten service games and never faced troubles behind the initial shot. He stole the rival's serve in the opening game of each set to gain the crucial lead that he successfully carried home to lift the trophy.
Alexander was the best player at Caja Magica that week, and he proved that in the title clash. He served well and hit with power and precision to leave the Austrian behind. Zverev had 15 winners and 12 unforced errors, and Thiem could not control his strokes with the same efficiency.
He sprayed 21 mistakes and failed to match Zverev's numbers in the shortest points. Alexander kicked off the action with a forehand return winner and created two break chances after Dominic's two forehand errors. The Austrian hit a double fault to give serve away and suffer an early setback.
The German took advantage of this gift and dropped six points in five service games to take the opener 6-4.
Alexander Zverev claimed the third Masters 1000 crown in Madrid 2018.
His serve gave him many free points, and the groundstrokes were there to break Thiem's rhythm and force him to play from the back of the court.
Serving for the set at 5-4, Alexander lost the opening two points and let the rival reach the first and only deuce on the return. It was not enough for Dominic to create a break point, as Alexander fired five service winners and brought the set home in 36 minutes.
The same scenario happened in the second set, and Zverev earned a break in the opening game after a forehand down the line that Thiem could only return into the net. The German cemented the lead after another forehand error from the Austrian, who could not find his range in three or four consecutive points.
Dominic fended off two break opportunities in game three, and that was the last poor service game we saw from him, dictating the pace in the remaining three to stay within one break deficit. The problem was that Zverev had no intention of slowing down behind the initial shot.
The youngster blasted a service winner in game ten to bring the victory home and start a massive celebration of one of the best weeks in his career.