Alexander Zverev has the opportunity to make it three Madrid titles out of the last four on Sunday but he is going to have his work cut out against the surging Carlos Alcaraz, who has continued to play superbly this week. It will be the third meeting between the two as the Spaniard looks to make it seven Top 10 wins in a row by getting his first win against Zverev.
It will be a welcome return to form for Zverev, who has been mired in controversy rather than making headlines with good performances this year. Such is his comfort in Madrid, he managed to pick up a win over an opponent who has dominated him in the past to make the final. He beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in three sets to move the head to head against the Greek to 4-7. “I thought from yesterday onwards I started to play really well,” said Zverev. I’m just extremely happy to be in the final here. I know it’s going to be an extremely tough match tomorrow but I hope I can manage to play my best and give myself a chance.”
Alcaraz became the first player to beat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic back-to-back on clay, delivering another stunning performance on his way to a 6-7 7-5 7-6 victory. The Spaniard was fearless through out, managing to hit through the No.1 on many occasions but also mixing in the drop shot to great effect on his way to hitting 51 winners. Many of the future challengers to Big 4 supremacy may have had the skills but few have the mental toughness and winning attitude that Alcaraz displays regularly. “I know that I played a really good game, and for the rest of the season I think I am able to play against the best players in the world and beat them as well, so it gives me a lot of confidence.” he said.
Any potential benefit to Zverev in regards to being more rested may well be wiped out by the poor scheduling that saw him not leave the court until 1am. Serving well and getting cheap points is once more going to be vital for the German’s chances here as Alcaraz is more than capable of dominating from the baseline. With Alcaraz already looking like a top three player this year, this is going to be tough with few weaknesses to target against a strong-minded. opponent.
Prediction – Carlos Alcaraz in straight sets