Mutua Madrid Open 2021, Final: Alexander Zverev vs Matteo Berrettini Preview, Head-to-Head and Prediction

Published 05/09/2021, 3:09 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 7, 2021 Germany’s Alexander Zverev celebrates winning his quarter final match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Sergio Perez

You wouldn’t have picked them as your first-choice finalists when the tournament opened. But with the more fancied stars, including five-time champion Rafael Nadal, two-time runners-up Dominic Thiem, and the in-form Stefanos Tsitsipas falling by the wayside, it’s Alexander Zverev and Matteo Berrettini who will play for the Madrid Open 2021 title.


Article continues below this ad

While both are deserving finalists, it’s the German World No.6 who has taken the relatively tougher road to reach another final at the tournament.

Alexander Zverev beat Nadal and Thiem to reach Madrid Open 2021 final


Article continues below this ad

In arguably his biggest scalp on clay, Zverev took down Nadal in straight sets in the quarter-final to send the home-favorite crashing out of the tournament.

What stood out in the win, his third straight victory over the Spaniard and first on clay, was the German’s dominance from start to finish, never allowing the 13-time French Open winner a semblance of a fightback.

The 2018 Madrid champion followed up with another comfortable win over Thiem to reach the championship round.

Though he made encouraging progress for someone who is still finding his groove in the competitive arena after returning from a seven-week hiatus, Thiem was expected to put up stronger resistance than what he managed against the German.

However, the reigning US Open champion, who found his way past a menacing Josh Isner, serving at his best, went down in straight sets in the last four, killing all hopes of reaching another Madrid final.

Tennis – ATP Cup – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 6, 2021 Italy’s Matteo Berrettini celebrates winning his semi final match against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Apart from Thiem and Nadal, the German beat World No. 26 Dan Evans and former Top-10 player Kei Nishikori in what has been a phenomenal run to the final.

Zverev holds 2-1 head-to-head lead over Matteo Berrettini

However, Berrettini’s passage to the championship round has been no less impressive. 

The current World No.10 took down compatriot and 2019 Monte-Carlo champion Fabio Fognini in his tournament opener and followed up with sparkling wins over young Chilean Cristian Garin in the quarters and Norwegian Casper Ruud in the semi-final to set up a championship showdown with Zverev.

Garin had upset Russian World No.7 Andrey Rublev, while Ruud brought up his biggest Tour win to date against Tsitsipas, the reigning Monte-Carlo champion, in previous rounds.

As far as the head-to-head record goes, Zverev currently holds a slender 2-1 lead over Berrettini, but the two are interestingly tied at one win apiece on clay.

Both their meetings on dirt came at the Masters 1000 event in Rome.


Article continues below this ad

As their previous results make it evident, there isn’t much to choose between the two players.

However, in his current form, the German would perhaps go into the final as the favorite, but the Italian would be happy not to be carrying that tag in the big clash.


“He Served 227, 228”: Dominic Thiem Applauds Alexander Zverev, Accepts Couldn’t Do Much in Madrid Semifinals

about 1 month ago


Article continues below this ad

So, here’s to a fitting finale to what has been an absorbing Mutua Madrid Masters 2021!


Priyabrata Chowdhury

989 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.