Alexander Zverev couldn’t have hoped for a better stay in the Spanish capital as he departs for Rome and the next stage on the ATP calendar with the Mutua Madrid Nasters trophy safely tucked into his racket bag.
Coming back from a set down to win the title here, I’m extremely happy with that Alexander Zverev
The week, which saw him defeat the King Of Clay, Rafa Nadal and his likely successor, Dominic Thiem, ended with him turning the final around to beat Matteo Berrettini in the title round 6-7(8) 6-4 6-3 for his fourth Masters title and second in Madrid.
“I think it was a good week for me,” Zverev said. “Matteo today was extremely difficult for me in a way that I didn’t play anybody who serves 235 (kph), dominates the ball like he does. Against Rafa and Dominic, the matches were different.
“Coming back from a set down to win the title here, I’m extremely happy with that.”
He certainly impressed during the latter stages of the event by defeating three top ten-players in succession for his 15th career title ad his third over Berrettini.
The pair in their early twenties, are likely to be rivals over the next decade, so it wasn’t surprising to see them lock horns, especially in the opening set which proved to be a very tight affair with the 25-year-old Italian edging it 10-8 on the tie-break when Zverev’s serve let him.
The burly Berrettini was certainly on a roll with his powerful serve as he held off Zverev until 4-all in the second, when it let him down allowing the German to take advantage and break to disrupt his rival’s momentum.
From that point Zverev avoided any trouble, levelled and then ran off with the decider to claim the trophy and the champion’s cheque for 315,100 Euros.
“It’s extremely important,” Zverev said of his title. “I think the clay court season, also to do well at the French Open, you need to be playing well during the clay court season. 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. I’m happy with this achievement. Obviously, yeah, I look forward to the next few weeks. I look forward to what’s ahead.”
Berrettini had won his last seven matches en route to his first Masters final where he was points away from the win.
“I had a breakpoint in the third,” Berrettini admitted. “I think he played really good. I returned a serve that was going 220 something. This is just tennis, you know.
“I really actually felt that in the first set, even though I was up a break, I wasn’t playing my best tennis. I was playing really good the beginning of the second and I couldn’t get the break. Nothing. In the third, it was a fight.
“No regrets at all. I left it all. I played good. I didn’t play unbelievable. I think also that it’s what he did to make me play like not my best tennis.”
Both players now head to Rome and willi home crowd.
“This was my first final,” added Berrettini. “Hopefully it’s not going to be my last. But like I said before, I’m really happy on my level. Today unfortunately I think I didn’t play my best tennis. I have to say that he made me play not my best tennis. That’s why tennis is a tricky sport.”