In search of Caja Mágica finalists

Antonio Arenas Men's Tennis, Mutua News

The candidates for the cup will be bidding to take their penultimate step on Saturday in the Caja Mágica. Both men’s semi-finals promise to be thrilling encounters on the Mutua Madrid Open clay. The ATP Masters 1000 crown is just two steps away and for the players, managing their emotions will be more important than ever.

Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem will meet in the tournament’s first semi-final. In a rematch of 2018’s final, where the German took the spoils, intensity is guaranteed from the first ball. Two players who know what it is to win Masters 1000 tournaments will be going at it hammer and tooth in the Spanish capital.

Zverev’s confidence will be sky high after his first win on clay against Nadal. The player from Hamburg is starting to rediscover his A-game at a tournament whose conditions fit his powerful game like a glove.

Thiem comes into the match in the midst of an unexpectedly good week. Having been on a break from competition for two months, the Austrian has managed to stamp his authority on the clay. Despite losing to Zverev in the title match three years ago, the world No. 4 has an 8-2 record against his semi-final opponent, including 4-1 on clay.

In the evening session, Casper Ruud and Matteo Berrettini will lock horns in a match that will provide one of them with a ticket to their first ATP Masters 1000 final under the floodlights of the Manolo Santana Stadium. The tension will be palpable on both sides of the net in a match they would have given anything to be in at the start of the tournament.

The Norwegian will have a psychological advantage over his opponent thanks to his victories in their previous two encounters. Judging by the most recent of them, a scintillating duel in Rome last season, this will be a tight clash.

Can Berrettini outpower his opponent? Will Ruud’s on-court nous prove a formidable weapon? Whoever comes out on top will earn themselves a ticket to glory on the Madrid clay.