MADRID: Alexander Zverev continued his impressive form going into the French Open by winning his second Madrid Open title here on Sunday.

After beating top-seeded Rafael Nadal in the quarter-final and fourth-ranked Dominic Thiem in the semi-final, Zverev rallied to defeat Matteo Berrettini 6-7 (8), 6-4, 6-3 for his second title this season. The sixth-ranked German also won the Mexican Open in Acapulco in March.

Zverev won his first Madrid title in 2018 in a final against Thiem. The win on Sunday gave him his fourth Masters 1000 title, and first in three years. Zverev will be trying to improve from his fourth-round exit last year at the French Open.

“To do well at the French Open, you need to be playing well during the clay court season,” the 24-year-old Zverev said. “That is in a way important for me, as well. At the end of the day I won a Masters. There’s really very little in terms of bigger than this one right here. I’m happy with this achievement. Obviously, yeah, I look forward to the next few weeks. I look forward to what’s ahead.”

The 10th-ranked Berrettini won the title in Belgrade last week. The Italian has been gradually returning to form after struggling with an abdominal injury that kept him from playing his quarter-final match against Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Australian Open. The injury kept Berrettini out until Monte Carlo, where he lost his opening match.

“This was my first [Masters 1000] final. Hopefully it’s not going to be my last,” Berrettini said. “But like I said before, I’m really happy on my level.

Today unfortunately I think I didn’t play my best tennis.”

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2021

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