Alexander Zverev’s love affair with Madrid continues. The German claimed his second Ion Tiriac trophy today by beating debutant Matteo Berrettini in the final, 6-7 (8), 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and 40 minutes of passionate tennis. After his sensational tournament, Zverev put the icing on the cake after a perfect week.
It is the German’s fourth ATP Masters 1000 title, after those picked up in Rome (2017), Montreal (2017) and Madrid (2018). In total, Zverev’s cabinet holds 15 trophies. A member of the first #NextGenATP generation, he is the most decorated member of the group so far, at just 24 years of age.
Watch the champ seal the match!
— #MMOPEN (@MutuaMadridOpen) May 9, 2021
The first set was a to-and-fro encounter that had the fans on the edges of their Caja Mágica seats. They were treated to both long rallies and powerful serving. Berrettini struck first, taking the first break of the match in the seventh game, but Zverev hit back immediately to maintain parity. There was nothing between them and the set was decided in an eighteen-point tiebreak.
The Italian had two set points at 6-4 and 6-5, but Zverev’s defence was up to the task and he took a 7-6 lead. In the end, though, the lead fell to Berrettini, a feat worthy of his roar; it was the first time Zverev had lost a set in the entire tournament.
It was such a tight match that all mistakes were greatly magnified. The second set continued in the same vein; physically demanding and with intense rallies. Zverev’s serve was unstoppable and Berrettini, who had so far done a solid job on his, suddenly faltered. And he was heavily penalised for it; Zverev broke his opponent in the ninth game and served out the set to take the clash to a decider. There, it was Zverev who roared, digging in and setting a course for the title when things got tough; he saved a break point against at 1-2 and picked up a break of his own in the next game that provided the momentum the German was looking for. He made sure of his victory with another break when Berrettini was serving to save the match.
Zverev has emphatically stamped his authority on the Caja Mágica, stringing together three straight wins over members of the Top 10: in the quarters he saw off five-time champion and world number two Rafa Nadal; in the semi-finals he defeated two-time finalist and number four in the world Dominic Thiem; and in today’s final did the same to the world No. 10. In the second round he also beat an ex-Top 10 player in Kei Nishikori. His path was replete with danger and he came through with flying colours.
Did you know…?
Zverev has his highest win rate at the Mutua Madrid Open, with a record of 15-2 (88.2% wins).