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Germany's Zverev beats Canada's Shapovalov in Madrid Open semis

Germany's Zverev beats Canada's Shapovalov in Madrid Open semis

"Being honest, I am not - as I said a lot of times - when I am winning, I am not super happy, and when I'm losing, I'm not super sad. Trying to tell myself as much as possible that today was my day". The 19-year-old Canadian will crack the top 30 when the updated ATP world rankings are released.

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"Last year we would have said the Australian Open had come a little too quickly for Roger [on his return from a six-month injury layoff] and many of us were left eating our words at the end of the tournament", Petchey said talking about Djokovic's chances in Roland Garros, as quoted on the Express. Now he was looking at No8, and it so happened that he would attempt to do it against the man he beat for that Miami Masters, a man 12 years his junior but No3 in the world, Alexander Zverev.

Another break in the first game of the second meant Thiem was again playing catch-up and Zverev could have moved 3-0 clear had Thiem not saved two more break points. Zverev's serve fired nearly robotically and Thiem was unable to recreate the magic from his win over Nadal in the quarter-finals.

In between came two truly compelling matches.

Nadal is widely considered the greatest ever clay court player having won 56 of his 77 titles on his favorite surface which include 10 French Open titles.

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Incidentally, the World No. 7 Austrian thus becomes the first man to beat the King of Clay on his most preferred surface since his triumph over the southpaw in the quarter-finals of the Rome Masters in 2017.

The German prodigy has also now won 18 sets in a row.

Interesting starts for (15) Berdych vs. Shapovalov who is finding his footing on clay, (6) Thiem vs. the Fognini-Monfils victor, (3) Dimitrov vs. Nishikori, (13) Sock vs. the former French runner-up Ferrer, the struggling (11) Djokovic vs.

Thiem is rightly considered, on his day, one of the finest clay court players now operating beneath Nadal who remains king of the surface.

The showdown was a far cry from the 6-0, 6-2 beatdown Nadal had delivered to Thiem in Monte Carlo a few weeks ago, and it wasn't just because of the difference in altitude and conditions between the two locations. "The 6'6" right-hander has yet to drop serve this week in Madrid, and he hasn't faced a break point since his third-round match against Argentina's Leonardo Mayer.

Zverev pocketed the opening game thanks to a double-fault and then, was never really thrown into a challenge throughout.

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