Zverev prevails over Matteo Berrettini to become the 2021 Mutua Madrid Open champion, capturing his fourth ATP Masters 1000 title.
The championship clash between Berrettini and Alexander Zverev took place at the Manolo Santana Stadium, with the former aiming to win his first-ever Master 1000 final.
However, the German player had other plans for the night; the fifth seed toppled the world No. 10 in three sets 6-7 (8), 6-4, 6-3 after two hours and 40 minutes, but that was not easy sailing.
The hard-fought match brought out the best of both players to the Caja Magica (Magic Box), where a limited number of spectators witnessed an intense battle for the triumph, displaying high-quality tennis.
A tight first set would dictate the rhythm across the encounter, with both men under constant pressure.
The parity was such that at 3-3 in the opener, each player had won 23 points.
At 4-3, the Italian player took the first break of the match against Zverev.
The eighth seed saved a set point, taking the opener 7-6 (8) over the Hamburg native in one hour and 10 minutes after a stunner tiebreak.
Berrettini was comfortably up 5-0 in the tiebreak when his opponent started to narrow the gap at the point that the Roman had to save a set point at 6-7 and then rallied to close it in his favor at 10-8.
All in all, he hit 17 winners to Zverev’s 6.
The second set unfolded with both players keeping momentum until World No. 6 broke the 2021 Serbian Open champion, taking the advantage at 5-4.
Berrettini hit his first - and only - double fault in the match on break point down, then Zverev served to level the Madrid final, closing with a 6-4 victory, forcing a decider.
The third set saw the 15 time ATP titlist recording his double fault number 6 (out of seven) at 1-2, but it didn’t take him long to recover with a break on the 25-year-old Italian, taking the lead at 3-2, clinching a 6-4 win.
In the post-match interview, Zverev said: “It is great [to win this title], especially after losing my last three finals I played at Masters 1000 events.
“This is definitely special, and I just want to enjoy this one.”
On Monday, Berrettini will move to world No. 9 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.
Both players will contest the Internazionali BNL dItalia ATP tournament held at the Foro Italico in Rome from May 9 to 16.