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Alexander Zverev vs Dominic Thiem: Madrid Open final preview and prediction
14 May 2018, 05:13 | Katrina Lee
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The young German also had the 3-1 advantage, including their only meeting on clay-on Zverev's way to the Rome Masters title past year. He then impressed in defeating John Isner in straight sets, who had gotten the better of him in the Miami final, to advance to the semifinals.
Just minutes later he was almost 3-0 down, but the 24-year-old dug deep from 15-40 down to keep himself in the match.
Incidentally, the World No. 7 Austrian thus becomes the first man to beat the King of Clay on his most preferred surface since his triumph over the southpaw in the quarter-finals of the Rome Masters in 2017.
The German broke Thiem's opening service games in each set and didn't give his Austrian rival a single break chance to win in 1 hour, 19 minutes.
Anderson made it to his first Masters 1000 semi-final, on his 11 attempt, with a 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3 victory over Dusan Lajovic on Friday.
Thiem obviously has the edge over Zverev based on the head to head history and the 3-0 record against him on clay. Thiem has won eight of his last 10 matches on clay court. A love hold, this time with forehand winners, threw the pressure back at Nadal, and the home hero saved the first match point but not the second. I don't think I faced breakpoints in the whole tournament.
"I've been playing great tennis and I'm unbelievably happy", the smiling champion told Sky Sports.
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These two have played five times and Thiem has won four of those meetings.
The 24-year-old used the same formula to win both sets, breaking early before comfortably serving out the contest.
Thiem had little trouble beating Kevin Anderson, and Denis Shapovalov fared no better against Zverev.
Thiem had never beaten Anderson in their six prior FedEx ATP Head2Head matchups, but they had never played on clay, Thiem's surface of choice.
Nadal can reclaim the top spot next week in Rome if he wins the title-but as luck would have it, he is again drawn in Thiem's quarter.
Vazquez was tested in the semi-finals against Bayern Munich and will hope he has done enough to convince boss Zinedine Zidane.
Edmund, who had conquered Novak Djokovic and David Goffin in the previous rounds, lost his cool towards the end of a tight second set when he stopped after a spectator called out, and Shapovalov proceeded to serve an ace.
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In the fourth, James closed the door entirely, putting on an exhibition from midrange with a series of unguardable daggers. Lowry finished with 21 points on an efficient 7-of-10 shooting but most of his points came during a hot first half.
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