Zverev beats Thiem to Mutua Madrid Open title

Maria Sharapova came through against Ashleigh Barty in Rome

Zverev broke in the first game of today's match and it proved to be the sole break-point chance of the set.

Marin Cilic admitted he was surprised to see Rafael Nadal lose at the Madrid Open, but insists he's an entirely different prospect at Roland Garros.

Of course, the way I played this week, the way I played winning the other Masters 1000 events, it's been great.

Zverev has always been marked out as a future star of the men's game and his victory over Thiem suggests the German can be a major threat at the French Open later this month.

Last year's finalist has gradually improved on clay in the last two years and has to be considered among the favourites for this year's French Open, based on his improving form.

The 21-year-old became only the fifth active player to win at least three Masters 1000 titles - joining the "big four" of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

While Thiem admits the conditions in Madrid suit him perfectly - it is where he reached his first Masters 1000 final a year ago - he also believes he produced exceptional tennis to overcome the King of Clay.

RAFAEL Nadal suffered his first clay-court defeat in nearly a year when the world number one was shocked 7-5, 6-3 by Austria's Dominic Thiem in the Madrid Masters quarter-finals.

But the Austrian was outplayed, and over-powered, by Zverev, who collects his third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title.

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He said: "The last 10 days has been pretty good, winning two titles in this time".

"This year till now I had only one or two tournaments that I had played".

"Obviously I didn't get broken one time (in Madrid)", he added.

Asked if he feels at that level, the German replied: 'Rafa is the favorite no matter where he plays on a clay court. Zverev dismissed Miami Open presented by Itau champion John Isner and #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov in straight sets in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively."I'm playing quite well".

"It is unbelievable", Zverev said. Thiem, however, should have more confidence than anyone, having done what few thought would happen this week by beating Nadal, the five-time champion in Madrid.

The second-seeded German has won 18 consecutive sets since losing the opening set in the first round of the BMW Open last week, and Zverev faced just one break point in the entire tournament. The Austrian also defeated Nadal in the 2017 Rome quarter-finals.

Thiem beat Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-2 in the early semifinal.

"I think he picked up his level", said Shapovalov, a product of Richmond Hill. "Almost everything worked out".

"There was also the fact that I never beat him".

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