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Zverev gets the better of Thiem, enters Madrid final

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Madrid, May 8 (IANS) Germany’s Alexander Zverev took sweet revenge for last years US Open final loss to Dominic Thiem, defeating the Austrian 6-3, 6-4 to reach his second Madrid Open final on Saturday.

The World No. 6 earned 11 break points and broke serve on three occasions to snap a four-match losing streak against Thiem.

Zverev owns a 1-8 ATP head-to-head record against the World No. 4 outside of Madrid, but he has won both his encounters with Thiem on this court. Zverev also beat the third seed in straight sets in the 2018 championship match.

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Zverev has charged through the draw to reach his second final at La Caja Magica. Prior to his win against Thiem, the 24-year-old also claimed straight-sets victories against former World No. 4 Kei Nishikori, Monte-Carlo semi-finalist Daniel Evans and five-time champion Rafael Nadal.

Zverev is aiming to win the Madrid title for the second time without dropping a set. Three years ago, Zverev faced just one break point throughout the tournament, which he saved, en route to his third ATP Masters 1000 crown.

Zverev owns a 14-2 record in the Spanish capital. The 6’6″ right-hander owns more victories and a better win percentage in Madrid (.875) than any other Masters 1000 event.

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After saving a break point at 1-1, Zverev directed his attack into Thiem’s forehand and capitalised on double faults to gain the only break of the first set. The German continued with his strategy in the second set to establish a 4-1 lead and, despite dropping serve late on, he converted his second match point with a crosscourt forehand winner to reach his eighth Masters 1000 final (3-4).

Zverev will meet Belgrade champion Matteo Berrettini or three-time Masters 1000 semi-finalist Casper Ruud in Sunday’s final.

–IANS

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