Hammer against hammer. Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev will dispute this afternoon (18.30, La 1 and #Vamos) the final of the Madrid Masters at the Caja Mágica. The 19-year-old Spaniard arrives launched after knocking down two giants: Rafa Nadal in the quarterfinals and Novak Djokovic, number one in the world, in the semifinals in two duels resolved in three sets. The Murcian thus became the youngest finalist in the Madrid tournament and the earliest to beat Nadal and Nole (and the first to do so on clay). “Alcaraz plays the best tennis this year,” Djokovic praised him after his 6-7(5), 7-5, 7-6(5) loss. Another wall awaits the Spanish in the final, Zverev, 25 years old and champion last year, who beat the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 3-6 and 6-2 in the semifinals, and now trained by Sergi Bruguera, captain Spanish of the Davis Cup. “This is my favorite court, the Caja Mágica is the best in the world”, commented the Hamburg tennis player. The German has beaten Alcaraz in his two previous clashes, in Acapulco and Vienna, both last year. And he does not forget the statistics: 21 games, 19 wins and only two defeats in Madrid, none of them registered in the Manolo Santana stadium. Alcaraz is number nine in the world ranking, although this Monday he will climb to sixth place. “If I am the best now? I’m not going to say that… Now I have eight players ahead of me”, said the Spaniard after successively beating Nadal and Djokovic. Today he awaits another hard nut to crack, the champion Zverev.
Zverev is a very complete tennis player, even more so since he worked with David Ferrer -the work ethic infected him- and now under the orders of Sergi Bruguera. He gave the example last night after qualifying for the final, because he decided to go to train at one in the morning for a few serves… “Nothing has surprised me in these last two days, I know how good Alcaraz is”, recognized the German; “In Acapulco last year I said that in 2023 I would be top-10, but he has beaten me for a year. He is an incredible player, at 19 he looks like an adult, he has no limits. Tomorrow I have the toughest opponent of the whole week, That’s why I’m going to keep training.”
In Alcaraz’s short career, in any case, he has faced the tall German twice and on both occasions the victory has been for Zverev. The first time they met was in the semifinal of Vienna 2021 (6-3 and 6-3; indoor hard court) and the second was in R32 of 2021 in Acapulco (6-3 and 6-1; outdoor hard court).
Remember that Carlos Alcaraz has beaten Rafa Nadal (in quarters) and Novak Djokovic (in the semi-finals) during the tournament, the first player able to do so on clay. He also the youngest to ever achieve it. Achievement that will be worth it to go from ninth to sixth place in the world in the ATP ranking. Now, he will face the German Alexander Zverev, number 3 in the world.
A pleasure to be with you to tell you about the final of the Masters 1,000 in Madrid between Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev.
Let’s go there!