Alexander Zverev is one of the most exciting young players in the world. The 21-year-old German won the Madrid Open for the first time, beating Dominic Thiem in an all-German speaking final, 6-4, 6-4.
For Zverev it is his third career Masters 1000 to go along with the titles he won in Rome and Canada last year.
“I felt pretty good since Valencia (Davis Cup in February) actually,” Zverev said. “Was a little bit tired in Monte-Carlo, but still got to the semi-finals; so far it’s been pretty good for me on clay this year. Hopefully I can continue this kind of streak in Rome.
“Obviously the altitude (in Madrid) fits me a little bit with my serve, with how I play, with me playing a little bit more aggressive than maybe others. That definitely fits me, but I just feel confident and comfortable right now.”
Zverev is only the fifth active player to win three or more Masters 1000 titles, joining Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray in that “club”, and Thiem hailed him as the best player in the world right now after Federer and Nadal. That certainly rings true according to the rankings because the Swiss and the Spaniard are the only two ahead of the German.
“It’s a great feeling. Hopefully this will not be my last. Hopefully I can continue to improve, continue to get better, win a few more,” he said.
“Of course, the way I played this week, the way I played winning the other Masters 1000 events, it’s been great. But for me, those are still the two players who you want to beat, who are the top of the game right now.
“Obviously I’m unbelievably happy, but I know there’s still a lot of work ahead to get to where they are.”
Thiem meanwhile enjoyed a superb week having accounted for Nadal en route to the final but it is the second year in a row he finished as runner-up, last year losing to Nadal in the title match.
“I just couldn’t maintain my level from the match against Rafa and the match yesterday against Anderson. That was the problem today,” Thiem said. “One break in the beginning of every set is a very bad start. In general, I was playing not good enough. He was not serving better than Anderson yesterday. I had many returns on the racquet, but just didn’t make them, or played it too easy back for him. He was immediately in the offense.
“All in all, it was just a bad match from me. Yeah, I will learn from it. In general, it was a very good week. Well, I hope I will get more chances to win a first Masters.”
The doubles title ended with a retirement – it was won by Nikola Mektic and Alexander Peya, they defeated Bob and Mike Bryan 5-3 retired when Bob had to retire with a hip injury. He was serving and landed awkwardly injuring himself. Bob received treatment but could play only one more point.
The Americans were attempting to become the oldest doubles team to be ranked world No.1.
“Very mixed emotions right now,” Peya said. “We are very happy that we won the tournament, but it is not the way you want it to end. I think we played a great match until that moment.”