World no. 3 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. It was their sixth meeting and the second win for the German, who had the upper hand on the court, especially in his games.
Zverev dropped 12 points in ten service games and never faced troubles behind the initial shot, stealing 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 player of the tournament, proving that again in the final to overpower Dominic in the serving department and from the baseline, hitting with power and precision and leaving the Austrian with no answer. Zverev had 15 winners and 12 unforced errors, and Thiem couldn't control his strokes with the same efficiency, spraying 21 mistakes and failing 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 before the Austrian hit a double fault to give serve away and suffer an early setback. The German took full 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 Madriod 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, something Nadal wasn't capable of doing in the quarter-final against him the Austrian.
Serving for the set at 5-4, Alexander 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.
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. The German cemented 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 was one of his best weeks in a career.