World no. 3 and the 2nd seed Alexander Zverev claimed the third Masters 1000 title in the last 12 months in Madrid 2018, delivering a flawless performance against Dominic Thiem to beat the Austrian 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 19 minutes, earning the eighth title overall and the second in a row after Munich.
It was their sixth meeting and the second win for the German who had the upper hand on the court, dropping 12 points in ten service games and never facing troubles behind the initial shot, stealing the rival's serve in the opening games of each set to gain the crucial lead that he successfully carried home to lift the trophy.
Zverev was the best player of the tournament, proving that again in the final to overpower Thiem in the serving department and from the baseline, hitting with power and precision to leave the Austrian with no answer. Alexander had 15 winners and 12 unforced errors and Dominic couldn't control his strokes in the same way, spraying 21 mistakes and failing to match Zverev's numbers in the shortest points.
Zverev kicked off the action with a forehand return winner, creating two break chances after two forehand errors from Thiem who hit a double fault to give serve away and suffer an early setback. The German took full advantage of this gift, dropping six points in five service games to take the opener 6-4.
His serve gave him a lot of free points and the groundstrokes were there to break Thiem's rhythm and force him to play from the back of the court, something Nadal wasn't capable of doing in the quarter-final against the Austrian.
Serving for the set at 5-4, Sascha lost the opening two points and Thiem reached the only deuce on the return, not enough to give him the desired break chance after five service winners from Zverev who brought the set home in 36 minutes, moving closer to the finish line.
The same scenario happened in the second set, with Zverev earning a break in the opening game after a forehand down the line that Thiem could only return into the net, cementing the lead after another forehand error from the Austrian who couldn't 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 games to stay within one break deficit. The problem was that Zverev had no intention of slowing down behind the initial shot, blasting a service winner in game ten to bring the victory home and start a massive celebration of what had been one of his best weeks in a career so far.