Zverev Leaps to French Contender Status After ATP Madrid Title
by Staff | May 14th, 2018, 9:29 am

Alexander Zverev threw himself into the French Open favorites mix Sunday, defeating Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-4 in the championship match of the Madrid Open.
The 21-year-old lifted the Madrid title for the first time.

“All in all, I’m just really happy with how I played, that I could win my third Masters,” said Zverev. “So far it’s been pretty good for me on clay this year. Hopefully I can continue this kind of streak in Rome. Obviously the altitude fits me a little bit with my serve, with how I play, with me playing a little bit more aggressive than maybe others. That definitely fits me. But I just feel confident and comfortable right now.

“In general, the last 10 days have been pretty good, winning two titles in this time. One in Germany and this one here is massive. It’s been unbelievable. I’m not going to lie. I’m just going to do everything I can to continue this kind of streak, get the performance I had here in Rome.”

Zverev was coming off the title at Munich and has now won 18 consecutive sets.

Zverev broke in the first game of the match, winning the battle to crowd the baseline and take control of the court. The normally steady game of Thiem faltered under the weight of 21 unforced errors.

Coming into the match Thiem had won four of their five career encounters. It was Thiem’s second consecutive runner-up effort in Madrif after losing to Nadal in last year’s final.

“It was I think an average match from both of us,” Thiem said. “I just couldn’t maintain my level from the match against Rafa and the match yesterday against Anderson. That was the problem today. He had one break in the beginning of every set. It is a very bad start. In general, I was playing not good enough. He was not serving better than Anderson yesterday. I had many returns on the racquet, but just didn’t make them, or played it too easy back for him. He was immediately in the offense.

“I didn’t have great results in the last weeks in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, but here I got my self confidence full back, even though I lost today. It was still a good week. I just played bad today, that’s it. There is no reason to be worried…I will learn from it. In general, it was a very good week. I hope I will get more chances to win a first Masters.”

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25 Comments for Zverev Leaps to French Contender Status After ATP Madrid Title

RZ Says:

Well done to Zverev, who had a stellar week holding all of his serves and facing only one break point.

I’m still bitterly disappointed that Thiem wasn’t able to win this tournament, especially as he’s the only guy who has beaten Rafa on clay in the last year.

rognadfan Says:

Well, that’s Thiem for ya!. A lot of people have been waiting to see him win something big. Not sure when that day will come. Looks like he can’t escape that letdown after doing something amazing!.
More worrisome, come past the Clay season and he is likely to get back into the ‘list of mediocres’ again.
Zverev, on the other hand, wonderfully reaped the low hanging fruit that Thiem brought down by beating the king.

SG1 Says:

Beating Rafa on clay is kind of like shooting a 59 in golf. It doesn’t happen often and when it does, it’s pretty much impossible to replicate. I think you have to treat each day as a new one or you’ll get caught up in trying to rationalize why you’re not playing as well as you think you should. One of the most difficult things to do is manage your own expectations. I think that Thiem is often his own worst enemy because he hasn’t quite mastered the mental aspects of the sport. He will win some big tournaments. Maybe more than some. But you have to bring a consistent level of play which he sometimes doesn’t do.

rognadfan Says:

^^ Well said.
I thought your last sentence is what I wanted to point out about Thiem, i.e., being inconsistent. Combine that with the deficiencies of his game, chances of losses at any round can be much higher than other top guys.

RZ Says:

Very true SG1. Last year he lost easily the day after beating Rafa. At least this year he won his next match. Maybe next time if it’s yet another quarterfinal, he’ll win the next 2 matches.

Humble Rafa Says:

Beating Rafa on clay is kind of like shooting a 59 in golf

You are smarter than your name indicates.

Humble Rafa Says:

^^ Well said.
I thought your last sentence is what I wanted to point out about Thiem,

Why are you talking about a third world guy? I thought you usually kept to the top 2?

rognadfan Says:

First, Third world doesn’t have anything to do with counting.
Dumbed down much?

Let’say, for your understanding, it’s like 1, 2, 3…; you still got it totally inside out, of what I said.

BTW, What’s your obsession with Thiem? Can’t even give constructive criticism on the guy. Given your obnoxious track record, your, stance on thiem is almost at the level of butt-licking.;)
Sounds like a hint of Stockholm syndrome. I am glad that Thiem is not mentally or technically capable of consistently beating Rafa.

skeezer Says:

Remenber, HR is tryin to be a funny man. That is all.

the_mind_reels Says:

While I agree that Thiem struggles to bring his best consistently over the course of a tournament, I think there’s an acute issue with beating Nadal before the final in a tournament. It takes *a lot* out of someone to take Nadal down, and so I was even surprised that Thiem brought his A-game back the next day against Anderson. Not a surprise that he perhaps didn’t have much left in the tank against Zverev. If Thiem had been better rested, I think he could have won Madrid.

Maybe it’s just a different way of saying the same thing, but Thiem doesn’t always make life easy on himself, winning best of 3 matches 6-4 or 7-5 in the fifth once or twice early on in a tournament. That has to come back and haunt him at some point, and it usually does in a late-stage let-down. He’s immensely talented but needs to learn how to manage his early rounds better.

the_mind_reels Says:

^ Should read “winning best of 3 matches 6-4 or 7-5 in the third”

rognadfan Says:

good words there.
I totally agree.

rognadfan Says:

I get all of that. I could take an obnoxious HR trying to be funny but an ill-informed one, no.

Okiegal Says:

I am amused that people take to heart the musings of a funny man……🤡🤡🤡

rognadfan Says:

All that is still about 10 feet away from me, aka not even close to the heart. :). It’s all good, and fun.

I appreciate someone ‘trying’ to be funny; I admit, HR’s posts are sparsely funny; but hope no one misinterprets/misunderstand things in the process, that’s all.

StarvingActor Says:

@rognadfan – you are too kind: “sparsely funny”. I find someone trying too hard….

skeezer Says:

Don’t think he/she/it is concerned about being ill-informed, it’s attention that he/she/it wants and acknowledgement that he/she/it is funny.

j-kath Says:

Andy-Mira: Just arrived home. Hope your daughter got the contributions she needed – sorri to put it here – but can’t easily access that non-Tennis strand. Didn’t follow any tennis when away but heard about Rafa on the Sports news…..feel sure you and other fans regard the result stoically –

AndyMira Says:

Hey JK!…Oh!You’re back!….Hope u enjoyed your vacation & returned home fresh & happy!

Oh,about my daughter…everythings working perfectly!..Thanks to our friends here!And thank u to u too JK for your support…About Rafa…Thiem was better than him last week & deserved to win….Ermm,can’t wait for him to resume his play in Rome…

Hope u will have a good day today JK!


Margot Says:

D E N I S!

RZ Says:

Shapo becomes the new Canadian #1 next week with his win today. Nice to see him start to focus during matches. The talent has always been there but the focus was sometimes missing.

j-kath Says:

Andy Mira: Many many thanks for the balloon – forgot how skilled U are with these pics. Kind of you. And pleased all went well for your daughter.

Unless U want a short story worthy of a Tennis X contributor who bored many of us for a while, U don’t want to hear my “away” story which started with Signal problems with trains – came home exhausted but feeling 100%+ now.

Long live the tennis and one’s favourites!!!!

AndyMira Says:

JK!…Skilled?Hahaha….All i did was find a pic & gave it to u!…But,you’re welcome anyway!Hehehe….

So,u got holiday + adventure this time?That’s okay!Sometimes those 2 were inseparable!

Hey!…If u ‘meet’ with Andy..tell him Happy Birthday okay?I saw a pic of him with a sombre face & he said..’I love birthdays’!…Hehe…He’s funny!!

Willow Says:

J-Kath lol hmm wonder who that was ?

j-kath Says:

A-M: Yes, saw that pic. – he can be so funny and self-deprecating – maybe never hit the heights again – but fingers crossed he does OK on grass – not sure I can get to Queen’s this year – fingers crossed.

Yep, Willow, figured it would be a teaser – hiccup, cough et al……

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