However the Austrian was outplayed, and over-powered, by Zverev, who collects his third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title, probably the most prestigious tier of knock-out match beneath the 4 Grand Slams.
Zverev is now certainly one of 5 energetic gamers to have gained three, the others being Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.
These 4 are all aged 30 or older, whereas Zverev is 21, with Djokovic and Murray each making an attempt restoration missions after damage.
“I might say most likely now, moreover Roger and Rafa, he is the very best,” Thiem stated. “You simply want to have a look at his outcomes.”
Ranked third on the planet, Zverev is but to switch his expertise and success in Masters occasions to Grand Slams, nevertheless, the place his finest consequence stays reaching the fourth spherical at Wimbledon final yr.
On this proof, that breakthrough is unquestionably shut, with the gang on Manolo Santana court docket handled to a powerful show of aggressive baseline hitting. Thiem’s 21 errors to Zverev’s 12 have been additionally key.
“Rafa is the favorite, regardless of the place he performs, on a clay court docket,” Zverev stated. “He’ll be the favorite in Rome, he will be the favorite in Paris. He is nonetheless the man to beat.”
The gamers in Madrid this week have remarked on the quickness of the courts and that has suited Zverev, whose demon serve was virtually untouchable within the opening set.
After conceding an early break for 2-Zero, Thiem’s solely sniff got here at 5-Four when he opened up Zero-30 on the Zverev serve. However his opponent didn’t waver, letting out a roar of aid after clinching the body.
One other break within the first recreation of the second meant Thiem was once more enjoying catch-up and Zverev might have moved Three-Zero clear had Thiem not saved two extra break factors.
As an alternative, Thiem stayed in contact to make Zverev serve out. A luxurious half-volley opened up two match factors and Zverev took the primary when a ultimate Thiem forehand floated lengthy.
“It is an incredible feeling,” Zverev stated. “Hopefully this won’t be my final, hopefully I can proceed to enhance, and win just a few extra.”