Alexander Zverev clinched his fourth career title at Masters 1000 level in Madrid on Sunday, as well as reviving his clay court ambitions ahead of Roland Garros. Along his journey in the Spanish capital, the German took away the satisfaction of eliminating five-time champion Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem in sequence, and then reassembling the Italian Matteo Berrettini in the final act.
After losing the first set in the tiebreak, Sascha used his excellent athletic skills to overcome the resistance of the Roman tennis player. In his speech during the awards ceremony, the finalist of the US Open 2020 first thanked the Madrid authorities for allowing the event to be held with a small number of fans in the stands.
The 24-year-old from Hamburg then turned his attention to tournament director Feliciano Lopez, joking that he shattered many dreams when he beat Nadal in the quarter-finals. Despite having often been at the center of criticism, Alexander has once again proved that he is in all respects a top player.
Alexander Zverev won his fourth Masters 1000
"Thank you, Feli," Alexander Zverev said. "For some reason after I beat Rafael Nadal you don't talk to me one word. I don't know why, but I think this would change after the final.
I think both of you are doing an incredible job," he added. "Thank you guys for putting up this event, as much as the Madrid government for allowing us to come here and make us feel so special." The German also expressed hope that the COVID crisis gets resolved soon, so that fans can attend upcoming tournaments in a much higher capacity.
"It sucks giving speeches when nobody is in there in the stands," Alexander Zverev said. "So we're very happy to have you back to the percentage we're allowed to. And hopefully next year, we'll be back to normal and there's gonna be many, many of you here so we can celebrate tennis the way it should be."
Alexander Zverev also expressed sympathy for runner-up Matteo Berrettini during his speech. "I want to congratulate Matteo, he's had an amazing week I think, you deserved to win this title just as much as I did," Zverev said.
"I know this moment is not great, I've been there, trust me. I've felt 100 times worse after the US Open final but when you win a title like this, you feel better. And you're so much more special I think," Zverev said.
"Next week is Rome, you're home town favorite there. [If] you're playing the way you're playing, I'll be cheering for you there as well."