ATP Madrid – Alexander Zverev in the final against Carlos Alcaraz after his half success against Stefanos Tsitsipas

He definitely feels at home in Madrid. While going through a difficult period in recent weeks, Alexander Zverev will defend his title well on Sunday on the Manolo Santana court. The world number 3 took his revenge from Monte-Carlo on Saturday evening in the semi-final of the Spanish Masters 1000 against Stefanos Tsitsipas (5th at the ATP) in three sets (6-4, 3-6, 6-2) and a just under two hours of play (1h53 exactly). To triumph a third time after 2018 and 2021 in the Caja Magica, he will challenge the prodigy Carlos Alcaraz, brilliant winner of world number 1 Novak Djokovic earlier today.

Alexander Zverev remains an enigma, capable of the best and the worst. A little over a week after his entry elimination in Munich in front of his home crowd, the Olympic champion showed himself in a much more favorable light in the Spanish capital. And this was particularly the case in this semi-final which he could have completed in two sets without a slight deconcentration at the end of the second act.

ATP Madrid

Zverev resists FAA and will find Tsitsipas


92% first serves in the first set

He thus confirms that his tennis expresses itself particularly well in these altitude conditions. And this for a simple reason: his huge first serve ball. Hit at an average of 211 km/h throughout this semi-final, this shot wreaked havoc. Moreover, when Zverev went down in this sector (45% in the second set), the debates were balanced and Tsitsipas even pilfered a set (6-4, 3-6).

Alexander Zverev in Madrid in 2022

Credit: Getty Images

In the first set, the world number 3 pushed the caricature to serve 92% of first and lose his only two points on second on … double fault. Thanks to this fantastic launching pad, he showed himself to be offensive and enterprising, in particular in long-line backhand, frequently coming to conclude the points at the net. Often caught up in speed, overtaken on the backhand side by the weight of Zverev’s ball, Tsitsipas experienced an unusual waste (28 unforced errors), also offering on a plateau the first break of the match (4-3) to his rival.

Everything depended on the level of the German from the first to the last point. So much so that when he restarted the forward gear at the start of the third act, Tsitsipas could not take the shock. Broken from the start (6-4, 3-6, 3-0), the Greek, less lively and hard-hitting than usual, suffered until the end. Zverev even allowed himself to conclude with a final break and a backhand arrow along the winning line, quite a symbol. This is the first time that he has gotten the better of his rival on clay, enough to boost his confidence. But Sunday (6.30 p.m.), against an Alcaraz pushed by the public, each drop will probably cost more.

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