German Alexander Zverev, sixth in the ATP rankings, defeated world number two Rafael Nadal this Friday by a double 6-4, getting into the semifinals of the Madrid tournament, where Dominic Thiem awaits him.
Nadal, a five-time winner of the Masters 1000 in Madrid, is once again on the verge of a semi-final this season, after falling in the quarterfinals in Monte-Carlo, in the opening of his season on clay.
The Spaniard had arrived in Madrid optimistic, after winning in Barcelona, but his progression was halted by his first defeat on brick dust at the hands of Zverev.
"During the week I had done everything well and today things have started the same, but at the moment of truth, in the moments when I had to decide the set, I have done everything wrong," said Nadal, the main favorite of the tournament.
The Balearic was overcome by the firmness of the German, fifth seeded and winner in 2018 of the Masters 1000 of Madrid.
'I have missed'
"To this day I have lacked it and I am going to work so that I do not miss it in the coming days," said Nadal, who now points to Rome, before defending his reign at Rolando Garros.
Zverev prevailed in a very tense match, which was evidenced by the two contenders with several errors.
In the first set, Nadal managed to break a blank to go 4-2, but his rival immediately returned the break to 4-3 and tied with his serve 4-4.
The German, broke again taking advantage of the inaccuracies of Nadal, who conceded a double fault, to go 5-4 and close the set with his serve.
At 2-2 in the second set, a very solid Zverev had two break balls, of which he only needed one to go 3-2 and secure the break with his 4-2 serve.
The Spaniard, began to make his despair visible, unable to find the cracks in his rival's game.
Nadal managed to save two break balls to get closer to 4-3 and continue resisting only to see how in the last game, Zverev certified the victory with his serve.
“To beat Rafa on clay in Spain, you have to play your best tennis. I'm very happy to have done it, ”Zverev said after the match.
"I'm doing a good job and I hope to continue like this in the next matches," added Zverev who will be seen in the semifinals with Dominic Thiem, world number four.