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Alexander Zverev avenged a Monte Carlo semi-final loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas with a three-set victory at the same stage on Saturday at the Mutua Madrid Open. Following his 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win, the German will now aim to complete his Madrid title defence against the turbo-charged Carlos Alcaraz.

In a match that largely favoured the server throughout, Zverev capitalised on his first two break opportunities to set him on the path to his 10th ATP Masters 1000 final. The second seed is seeking his sixth title at that level, with his five current crowns the most of any active player outside the Big 4.

“I thought from yesterday onwards I started to play really well,” said Zverev, who beat Felix Auger-Aliassime in straight sets on Friday. “Im just extremely happy to be in the final here. I know it’s going to be an extremely tough match tomorrow but I hope I can manage to play my best and give myself a chance.”

After Tsitsipas broke late in the second set on his first look on the return, the German quickly turned the tide by winning the opening three games of the decider. Firmly in the ascendency, he missed out on a break point at 4-2 before closing out the match with his third break of the one-hour, 53-minute contest.

Zverev bounced back from a difficult serving day in the quarter-finals to make 73 per cent of his first serves (48/66) against the Greek, winning a stellar 83 per cent of those points. After hitting nine double faults in the quarter-finals, including eight in the second set, he cut that number to four in the semis.

The German also improved his ATP Head2Head record to 4-7 against Tsitsipas, earning his first clay-court win over the fourth seed in the process. The two-time Madrid champion (2018, 2021) is now to 8-1 against Top 10 opponents in the Spanish capital, where his overall record is a pristine 19-2.

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Asked if his record in Madrid makes Manolo Santana Stadium feel like his court, as opposed to home favourite Alcaraz’s, Zverev deferred to his final opponent.

“Yes, I have been playing well, so I’m just renting it,” he said with a laugh. “It’s going to be his court for the next 15 years probably. It has been Rafa’s court for the past 15 years and it’s going to be his court for the next 15 years.

“I just hope I can give him some trouble and I hope I can manage to win tomorrow.”

Sunday’s final is set for 6:30 p.m. local time.

Tsitsipas leaves Madrid with a 27-8 tour-level record on the season, now tied with Alcaraz for the joint-most wins in 2022. After successfully defending his Monte Carlo title last month, he heads to Rome with an opportunity to reach at least the semi-finals at all three clay-court Masters 1000s.


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