Alcaraz eases past Zverev in Madrid to secure fifth ATP crown
Tennis

Alcaraz eases past Zverev in Madrid to secure fifth ATP crown

Carlos Alcaraz secured his fifth ATP Tour title and second Masters 1000 crown by cruising past defending champion Alexander Zverev 6-3 6-1 at the Madrid Open.

Alcaraz became the first player to ever defeat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in consecutive matches en route to the final in the Spanish capital, while Zverev edged out Stefanos Tsitsipas to make the showpiece.

Zverev, a two-time winner in Madrid in 2018 and 2021, boasted a 2-0 head-to-head record over Alcaraz on the ATP Tour heading into the clash on Sunday, but it was the 19-year-old who seized the early initiative.

Alcaraz struck first with a break to go 4-2 up after a dipping backhand evaded the reach of Zverev, who could not muster a response as the Spaniard served out a dominant first set.

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The teenager continued in commanding fashion in the second set, delivering a deft drop shot to break Zverev, who missed two straightforward volleys and produced a double fault to fall 4-1 down.

World number three Zverev managed to save three match points, but a double fault then handed Alcaraz victory in just 62 minutes, becoming the youngest five-time tour winner since Nadal won seven titles by the same age in 2004-05.

Alcaraz leads the way for wins in the 2022 season as his 10th straight triumph – and seventh consecutive victory over top-10 ranked players – takes him to 28 for the campaign, one more than Tsitsipas.

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Alcaraz is also the second-youngest player to win two ATP Masters 1000 titles, after triumphing in Miami in March, and will rise to second in the Race to Turin as he seeks his debut at the prestigious end-of-season event in November.

ajike

Ajike is one of Nigeria's top Sportscasters with over 15 years of experience in writing and talking Sports.

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