Facing each other for the seventh time, Alexander Zverev scored the second victory over Rafael Nadal. The German defeated the Spaniard 6-4, 7-5 in an hour and 39 minutes, advancing into the seventh Masters 1000 final. Zverev lost serve once and delivered three breaks to seal the deal in straight sets and earn the title clash against Daniil Medvedev on Sunday.
Alexander was the dominant figure in the opening set, firing 19 winners and seven unforced errors while never facing break points. The German had the advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes, scoring an early break and producing five comfortable holds for 6-4.
Rafa held with a service winner in the opening game before Alexander landed an ace to level the score at 1-1 and get his name on the scoreboard. The German grabbed a break at love in the third game after forcing an error from the 20-time Major champion, firing another unreturned serve in game four for a 3-1 lead after 14 minutes.
Remaining within one break deficit, Rafa closed the fifth game home with an unreturned serve, still powerless on the return following a forehand winner and a hold at love for the German a few minutes later. Nadal painted a backhand down the line winner in game seven to stay in touch, hoping for some chances on the return in the set's closing stages.
Instead of that, Alexander fired an ace to open a 5-3, forcing Rafa to serve for staying in the set. The Spaniard held at 15 in game nine to prolong the set, only for a couple of minutes, as Zverev brought the tenth game home at 15 with a drop shot winner for 6-4 in 38 minutes.
A former finalist grabbed the second set's opening game with an ace, still struggling on the return big time after another ace from Zverev, who leveled the score at 3-3. In game three, Rafa squandered a game point, spraying a forehand error to offer Zverev a break chance and suffering a break when his volley failed to pass the net.
Alexander Zverev scored the second victory over Rafael Nadal to reach Paris final.
With a set and a break up, the German held at 15 to confirm the advantage and forge a 3-1 lead, taking another big step towards the finish line.
Alexander hit a smash winner in the fifth game for a break chance, failing to seize it and allowing Nadal to close the game with a service winner and remain in contention. The Spaniard created his first break chances in game six, wasting them both after a couple of winners from Zverev, who landed a service winner to secure the game and move 4-2 in front.
Like that wasn't enough, Rafa faced an ultimate test on serve in game seven, with four break points up for grabs for the German. Regaining composure, Nadal erased them all (three with winners) and clinched the game after forcing an error from the younger opponent.
What he missed in game six, Rafa fixed at 3-4 when Zverev sprayed a forehand error, leveling the score at 4-4 and gathering a boost. Nadal held at love for the first time in game nine to move in front, sending the pressure to the other side of the court.
Feeling none of it, Alexander landed an ace to grab the game, earning a break chance in the next one after a lucky net cord winner. Nadal gave serve away when his backhand landed wide and Zverev held at 15 to seal the deal and advance into the third straight ATP final.