It was a battle of the future, two of the stars tipped by many to be at the top of the game as the generational shift occurs on the ATP World Tour. Alexander Zverev emerged victorious on the clay at the Manolo Santana Stadium as he saw off Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 18 minutes to secure the Mutua Madrid Open title.
Despite being just 21, the German showed maturity beyond his years as he secured the third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 of his career at the Caja Mágica, adding to the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Roma (versus Novak Djokovic) and Rogers Cup in Canada (versus Roger Federer) titles he secured last year. Just a few weeks ago he was a defeated finalist in the Miami Open presented by Itaúa (versus John Isner).
In winning, Zverev becomes the first active player outside of Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray to reach three ATP Masters 1000 titles. In total, 15 players know what it is like to win a tournament of this status.
An early break set the tone for Zerev, who took the upper hand from the off. The Hamburg-born right-hander won 78% of points on his serve and took the set at the first time of asking 6-4.
The second set started in the same vein, with Thiem being broken. The German’s aggressive style from the baseline, combined with some unforced errors on the backhand side, ensured plenty of nerves for the Austrian who was looking for his first ATP Masters 1000 title in what was his second Mutua Madrid Open final.
Zverev kept his advantage throughout and gave up zero breakpoints throughout the match, lifting his win percentage for points on his first serve to 94%.
The world number three claimed the eighth title of his career in Madrid, adding to those won in Munich (2018), Canada, Washington, Rome, Munich, Montpellier (all 2017) and Saint Petersburg (2016). He now goes to Rome to defend his title there on the back of a run comprising nine consecutive victories.