Alexander Zverev: "This is one of the best victories of my career."
SERGIO PEREZ / REUTERS
Alexander Zverev moved into the semifinals of the Masters in Madrid with a 6: 4, 6: 4 win against the clay court king Rafael Nadal.
For the first time in his career, Zverev achieved success against the Spaniard on his favorite surface.
In the semifinals, the German meets Dominic Thiem (Austria), who defeated John Isner in three sets.
Nadal has won the tournament in Madrid five times so far, thanks to his success at the French Open (13 wins) he is considered the best player in the world.
“It's one of the best wins of my career.
But the tournament isn't over yet.
Dominic Thiem is expecting me tomorrow, who plays very, very well, especially on this surface.
I'm looking forward to the next matches, "said Zverev on Sky.
Zverev dominated the match for long stretches with his good serves and precise basic strokes - he achieved a total of 28 winners in the two sets.
Nadal again did not have his best day, he only won six rallies with winning strokes.
The decisive factor, however, was how calm Zverev remained in critical moments.
Rafael Nadal conceded one of his seldom defeats on clay
Bernat Armangue / AP
In the first set with a score of 4: 3 for Nadal, Zverev supposedly made the point with a serve. Nadal's return sailed out, then the Spaniard wanted to have Zverev's ball checked. This is not allowed under the rules, the rally has to be interrupted, but the referee agreed to it. A short discussion followed between Zverev and the referee. In recent years, such a scene would have had the potential to upset Zverev. This time it was different, the world number six got even better and only rarely let Nadal develop with his strong forehand.
Zverev had already won the last two games against Nadal - albeit under the roof and on hard courts - most recently at the Masters in Paris in 2020.
After his disappointing quarter-final in Munich a week ago, Zverev confirmed his good form in the Spanish capital with the triumph over the second in the world rankings, where he is still without a set loss.
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