ATP Madrid: Alexander Zverev downs Dominic Thiem to reach title clash

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ATP Madrid: Alexander Zverev downs Dominic Thiem to reach title clash

The 2018 Madrid Open champion Alexander Zverev will compete in the eighth Masters 1000 final on Sunday following a 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Dominic Thiem. The German earned the third victory over the Austrian in 11 encounters and the first since that Madrid 2018 final, continuing where he left against Rafael Nadal and standing as the favorite in Sunday's final against Matteo Berrettini or Casper Ruud.

Zverev faced only two break points and suffered one break, taking 40% of the return points and securing three breaks from 11 opportunities that carried him home. Alexander had 25 winners and 22 unforced errors, hitting an unreturned serve in 35% of the points in his games and overpowering Thiem in the shortest range up to four strokes.

Alexander closed the opening game with a service winner before Dominic held at love to level the score at 1-1. The Austrian fired a backhand winner in the third game to earn a break chance, denied by a service winner from the German, who closed the game with another powerful serve that pushed him 2-1 in front.

With momentum on his side, Zverev forced Thiem's error in the fourth game to seize the fourth break chance and open a 3-1 advantage.

Alexander Zverev beat Dominic Thiem for the eighth Masters 1000 final.

Alexander confirmed the break and held at love at 4-2 with an ace to move 5-2 up and closer to the opener.

Serving at 5-3, the German placed a smash winner to wrap up the first set and move closer to the finish line. Thiem saved a break point in the second set's first game with a service winner, and Alexander grabbed the second game with an ace.

The German earned a break at 1-1 following Thiem's backhand error, moving in front and confirming the advantage with a service winner a few minutes later. Alexander made another giant step towards the top with a forehand down the line winner that secured the second straight break for him in game five.

With no room for errors, Dominic pulled one break back in game six and survived the next one after three break points and four deuces to move 3-4 behind. Remaining composed, Alexander fired a forehand winner in the eighth game to stay in front and force his rival to serve for prolonging the match.

Dominic held at 15 in game nine before Alexander brought the victory home with a comfortable hold a few minutes later with a forehand winner.