Alexander Zverev was fully dialed in on Saturday as he defeated Dominic Thiem in straight sets to advance to the Madrid final. The German will be looking to capture his second title at the Caja Magica, and will meet either Matteo Berrettini or Casper Ruud in the championship match on Sunday.
Alexander Zverev had endured a heart-breaking loss to Dominic Thiem in last year's US Open final, which is something that would've played on the German's mind before the pair's rematch at Madrid. Zverev, however, came out all guns blazing as he dominated the Austrian from the get-go, breaking him three times en route to registering a 6-3, 6-4 win.
Speaking to the media after his win, Alexander Zverev lauded his budding rivalry with Dominic Thiem before adding that it was the Austrian who had "kicked his ass" in most of their previous meetings. The 23-year-old added he was happy to beat Thiem on Saturday, which was only his third in 11 matches.
"We have had some fantastic matches," Zverev said. "We have played the biggest matches in the world. We have played Masters 1000 finals, we have played Grand Slam finals and [the rivalry] is still developing, a rivalry where he kicks my ass most of the time. So I am happy to get this one."
"Hopefully, we will play a few more amazing matches" - Alexander Zverev on his rivalry with Dominic Thiem
Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem have played each other at three of the four Grand Slams, with Thiem winning each time. They also faced each other in the Madrid 2018 final, but that time the German triumphed in straight sets.
During his presser on Saturday, Alexander Zverev asserted that he was looking forward to playing more such high-profile matches against Dominic Thiem in the future.
"It is still going to go on for a few more years," Zverev said. "Hopefully, we will play a few more amazing matches."
Alexander Zverev was also asked about his slump prior to the Madrid Open, which saw him exit early at the Miami Open, the Monte Carlo Masters and the BMW Open. In response, Zverev claimed that he had been playing well at the beginning of the year but was bothered by a couple of injuries later in the season.
The German then claimed he was finally on the right path, and that he wished to continue playing at the level which has seen him thump not only Thiem, but also 'King of Clay' Rafael Nadal.
"It's been weeks like that," Zverev said. "I feel like I played well in the beginning of the year, then injuries happened. But I feel like I’m going to go back to the right path. I’m doing a good job of that. I hope I can continue playing the way I played [against Rafa] in the next matches."