Thiem, Zverev advance to Madrid final

Denis Shapovalov hits record charts in Madrid as the first player

Giant-killer Dominic Thiem is through to the final of the Madrid Open after defeating Kevin Anderson.

On the men's side, second-seeded Alexander Zverev brushed aside Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 6-1 to reach the final. 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.

The reputed clay master, Nadal has admitted before the match that Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem are his greatest threats on clay, and not World No 2, Roger Federer. Thiem was also responsible for Nadal's only loss at the clay court in 2017. I played good matches and I won two titles. The lower-ranked Austrian also won their last meeting (at Rotterdam Open in February last year).

Thiem was punished for a sloppy first game that ended with the Austrian double-faulting to gift Zverev the lead.

A Masters 1000 title would mean a lot to me because it's obviously really tough to win one, " said Thiem.

The season will continue with the Italian Open tomorrow.

Zverev, 21, broke again right at the start of the second but squandered the chance of a double-break two games later as Thiem, conqueror of Rafael Nadal in the last eight, hung on.


I'm ignoring the head to head numbers and backing Zverev to win his third Masters 1000 title.

Interesting starts for (15) Berdych vs. Shapovalov who is finding his footing on clay, (6) Thiem vs. the Fognini-Monfils victor, (3) Dimitrov vs. Nishikori, (13) Sock vs. the former French runner-up Ferrer, the struggling (11) Djokovic vs.

"It gave me a huge boost of confidence", he said.

"I was keeping my level up from yesterday, so that was a great thing".

Thiem was the last man to take a defeat, or take a set off, Nadal previous year in Rome before the Spaniard began his streak, and he was the man who ended it on Friday, nearly 12 months later.

Nadal said on Thursday, after breaking John McEnroe's 1984 record for sets won on the same surface by winning his 50th straight set on clay, that he expected the match against Thiem to be "key to this tournament".

"Having said this, I think I placed myself in a good position more or less". "Now I'm in the finals again, which is incredible for me.".

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