Fixture: (5) Alexander Zverev vs (8) Matteo Berrettini
Date: 9 May 2021
Tournament: Mutua Madrid Open 2021
Venue: Madrid, Spain
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €2,614,465
Match timing: Not Before 6.30 pm local time, 10 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Alexander Zverev vs Matteo Berrettini preview
World No. 6 Alexander Zverev will look to win his second career title at the Madrid Open when he takes on World No. 10 Matteo Berrettini in the final on Sunday.
Zverev, the 2018 champion, came to the Spanish capital in less than ideal form. The German had lost early at the Miami Open, the Monte Carlo Masters and the BMW Open, with the last defeat being particularly disappointing as he had served for the match at one point.
But Zverev has turned his fortunes around in Madrid. He has struck the ball with the same aggression which saw him reign supreme at the Caja Magica in the past, and the results have been similar too.
Zverev has dismissed experienced players like Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Kei Nishikori to reach the championship match in Madrid. He wil be confident of winning his first big title since the 2018 ATP Finals when he faces Matteo Berrettini on Sunday.
Berrettini, on his part, has accumulated a 16-3 win-loss record in 2021 so far. He has beaten the likes of Dominic Thiem, Roberto Bautista Agut, Casper Ruud and Cristian Garin this season already, and is currently riding an eight-match winning streak.
Having won the Serbia Open a couple of weeks ago, the Italian has continued in the same vein in Madrid. Berrettini has used his massive serve and heavy forehand to dominate every single opponent this week.
The eighth seed has dropped just one set in the tournament so far. His finest performance came in the semifinals on Saturday against Casper Ruud, where he didn't face a single break point.
Alexander Zverev vs Matteo Berrettini head-to-head
Alexander Zverev leads Matteo Berrettini in the head-to-head with a 2-1 margin. But Berrettini did beat Zverev in their last claycourt encounter, which came at Rome in 2019.
Alexander Zverev vs Matteo Berrettini prediction
Matteo Berrettini has been racking up wins by the truckload lately, and comes into the final with plenty of momentum on his side. Aside from his second-round exit to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in Monte Carlo, the Italian has looked completely at ease during this year's clay season.
Berrettini has one of the heaviest forehands on the tour, which allows him to take control of rallies easily. But the Italian's biggest weapon this week has been his serve; Berrettini won a mammoth 91% of his first-serve points in his semifinal win over Ruud.
The 25-year-old will look to make similar inroads against Alexander Zverev in the final, and constantly push the German back with his big strokes. That strategy worked wonders during their Rome 2019 meeting, and Berrettini will be hoping for a repeat on Sunday.
Alexander Zverev, however, seems to have turned a new page in his career over the last year or so. The German came excruciatingly close to winning his first Major title at the 2020 US Open, finishing as the runner-up to Dominic Thiem, and has looked like a different player since then.
No longer afraid of taking the initiative in the rallies, Zverev has put up a spectacular display in Madrid so far. He has regularly outhit his opponents from the baseline this week, striking powerful down-the-line winners almost at will.
The 24-year-old has shaken off his troubles from earlier in the season, which on Saturday he attributed to a couple of injuries. Zverev is fully fit now, and will be the hot favorite to win the title on Sunday.
Prediction: Alexander Zverev to win in straight sets.