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Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev will contest the final of the 2018 Madrid Open on Sunday at the Caja Magica after both players advanced from the semi-finals in straight sets.
Thiem had little trouble beating Kevin Anderson, and Denis Shapovalov fared no better against Zverev. Here’s a look at the results:
(5) Dominic Thiem beats (6) Kevin Anderson: 6-4, 6-2
(2) Alexander Zverev beats Denis Shapovalov: 6-4, 6-1
For the full schedule, visit the Madrid Open’s official website.
Thiem vs. Anderson
Thiem carried the momentum from his upset win over Rafael Nadal into his semi-final against Anderson, overcoming another major hurdle:
José Morgado @josemorgado
FINAL AGAIN! Dominic Thiem defeats Kevin Anderson for the first time in his career after six losses — 6-4, 6-2 — to reach back to back finals in Madrid. Anderson will still pass Dominic in the Rankings if the Austrian loses the final https://t.co/dXrBcQDhHS
The 24-year-old used the same formula to win both sets, breaking early before comfortably serving out the contest. Thiem’s ground game was as good as it has been all week, and his defence was on point against the powerful Anderson.
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.
He told reporters he won’t take his opponent on Sunday lightly, after losing last year’s final to Nadal:
Thiem has already won an ATP title this year, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and will like his chances in the final, courtesy of the odd schedule in Madrid.
Zverev vs. Shapovalov
Fans hoping to catch both semi-finals and unfamiliar with the strange schedule tournament organisers in Madrid come up with every year were in for a rude surprise:
Andrew Burton @burtonad
This is your annual reminder that the Madrid ATP tournament SF scheduling is insane. Shapovalov and Zverev will take the court at 9pm. There’s only a 5 hour gap behind the first SF, but the sleep schedule disruption for the second finalist is severe.
Zverev and Shapovalov didn’t start their semi-final until well past 10 p.m. local time, hours after Thiem was able to start his recovery ahead of Sunday’s final. While the German wasted little energy in the second set, he will still enter their match with a major physical disadvantage.
Shapovalov was able to keep pace with Zverev early but suffered a key break late in the first set, and his momentum crumbled. His opponent would claim the first four games of the second set, and there was no way back for Shapovalov.
Zverev and Thiem have faced each other five times, with the Austrian taking four wins. Their last meeting came in 2017 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.