Zverev-Thiem to pursue Masters 1000 title

Zverev-Thiem to pursue Masters 1000 title

Serving to close out the first set, Zverev trailed 0-30 but used his big serve to force deuce and finally closed out the point when Thiem's return sailed long.

Thiem is playing in just his third tournament since a right ankle fracture suffered at Indian Wells while US Open runner-up Anderson was competing in his first semi-final at Masters level, ending a run of 10 prior losses in quarter-finals at this level.

Thiem's confidence was on display in the semi-final Saturday as he dispatched off Kevin Anderson in straight sets - his first win over the American star - in the semi-final.

On Sunday. the German Zverev stopped Austria's Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-4 to claim his third Masters Series 1000 title, second on clay.

Raven Klaasen and doubles partner Michael Venus of New Zealand were knocked out in the quarter-finals earlier in the week, while Anderson was eliminated in the opening round in a rare doubles appearance. Having said this, it's hard to give much respect to this record - on three occasions, Zverev was ranked outside the top 40, and Zverev has never played Thiem as a top 20 player.

Zverev heads into Sunday's final with a chance to become only the fifth active player after Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray to have won three or more Masters 1000 title.

Asked if he feels at that level, the German replied: 'Rafa is the favorite no matter where he plays on a clay court.

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As I said, winning two titles in two weeks is great.

The 21-year-old adds to the two Masters titles he won last year, at the Italian Open and Canadian Open.

There was no chance of a let-up from Zverev though and he remained focussed throughout, winning on his first match point when his Austrian opponent returned long.

It was Zverev's second win in six meetings with Thiem.

Thiem lost his second consecutive final at the Caja Magica.

Nadal defeated Stan Wawrinka in straight sets previous year to win the French Open for a record 10th time.

Before Madrid, he played Thiem in the Monte Carlo Masters Quarterfinals, beating him 6-0, 6-2. 'The balls are slightly different over there than what we play with on this clay season. "Now I'm in the finals again, which is unbelievable for me.". "To be honest, I thought that I was pretty far away before this week started", Thiem said.

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