Alexander Zverev looks to continue his winning streak in Madrid, beginning with Fernando Verdasco in the night session on Manolo Santana Court. The German can achieve a new career high ranking with a good run in this tournament, with a potential spot in the top 16 a possible gamechanger when it comes to the upcoming slam tournaments.
Zverev’s previous two losses came in the form of a crushing 6-1 6-1 to Nadal in Monte Carlo and a baffling straight sets loss to Hyeon Chung in Barcelona. However, home conditions gave him a huge boost in Munich and he would go on to win the title as third seed in the event. An impressive straight sets win over Roberto Bautista Agut in the semi finals was backed up by a similarly comfortable win over Guido Pella to earn his third career title and first on clay courts.
Meanwhile, Fernando Verdasco’s early clay exploits have been mixed. He made the quarter finals in Houston while he was a loser against Laslo Djere in Budapest, having held a set lead against the then ranked No.184 player. The Spaniard remains inconsistent, a large reason for his current ranking outside the top 30. Verdasco does lead the head to head against Zverev, winning their only meeting in Metz 2 years ago. It’s fair to say Zverev has markedly improved from that period and is ranked 60 places higher. The German should be winning these kind of matches if he is to becoming a constant fixture in the top 20.
Prediction – Alexander Zverev in straight sets