Alexander Zverev produced an impressive display to beat Dominic Thiem in straight sets on Saturday and book his spot in the Madrid Open final, where he will face Matteo Berrettini.
Fifth seed Zverev, who stunned five-time champion Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals on Friday, saw off Thiem 6-3, 6-4 in a repeat of the 2018 final, which was also won by the German.
“It is going to mean a lot to me (if I can win the final) I am definitely looking forward to it,” said the 24-year-old Zverev, bidding to win the title without dropping a set, as he did three years ago.
Thiem threatened a late fightback after trailing 4-1 in the second set, but had too much to do to reach a third Madrid final.
The Austrian third seed will now turn his attentions to Rome next week and then the French Open which starts later this month, where he is also a two-time runner-up.
The tournament has seen a welcome return to form for world number six Zverev, who had won only two matches in his previous three events since lifting the Acapulco title in March.
It was Zverev and Thiem’s first meeting since the latter’s dramatic triumph in the 2020 US Open final, when he came back from two sets down to win in a deciding-set tie-break.
“We have had some fantastic matches,” added Zverev, who still trails Thiem in their head-to-head 8-3. “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. “It is still going to go on for a few more years. —AP