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Two-time Madrid champion Zverev back in final after beating Tsitsipas

Alexander Zverev will go for a third title in Madrid after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas on Saturday night. Standing in Zverev’s way is the hottest player on tour, Carlos Alcaraz.

Alexander Zverev, 2022 Alexander Zverev celebrates after winning his semi final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Alexander Zverev vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas may not have been the main course at the Mutua Madrid Open on Saturday, but the fans who stayed late and stuck around to see it were not disappointed. The third consecutive three-setter of the day saw Zverev edge Tsitsipas 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in a semi-final match that ended after 1:00 am.

The 25-year-old German needed one hour and 53 minutes to set up a showdown for the title against Carlos Alcaraz.

Zverev steadies service woes in third set

The Zverev-Tsitsipas match was preceded by Alcaraz’s thrilling three-set win over Novak Djokovic in the first semi-final and Ons Jabeur’s three-set defeat of Jessica Pegula in the women’s title match. Tsitsipas made sure the nightcap would also go the distance. After the Monte-Carlo champion dropped the opening set, he hit back in the second by breaking at 4-3.

Zverev, however, was quick to put momentum back on his side in the third. The No. 2 seed raced to a 3-0 lead, so he was already comfortably ahead when he added another break for good measure to wrap up the match in style. That came with Tsitsipas serving at 2-5, and Zverev blasted a clinching backhand winner on the 30-40 point to surge across the finish line.

It’s going to be his court for the next 15 years.

Alexander Zverev

Zverev’s reward is a third meeting with Alcaraz. Although Zverev leads the head-to-head series 2-0, both of those encounters came last year — before Alcaraz became the player he is today. That player is 27-3 this season and second in the race to Turin.

As a two-time champion in Madrid (including last spring), Zverev was asked following his win over Tsitsipas if Manolo Santana Stadium feels like his court.

“I’m just renting it,” he joked. “It’s going to be [Alcaraz’s] court for the next 15 years probably. It has been Rafa’s court for the past 15 years and it’s going to be his court for the next 15 years.

“I just hope I can give him some trouble and I hope I can manage to win tomorrow.”

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