Matteo Berrettini will take on Alexander Zverev in the Madrid Open final on Sunday after overcoming Casper Ruud 6-4 6-4 in the last four. 

Eighth seed Berrettini has enjoyed a superb debut tournament in the Spanish capital, the 25-year-old dropping just one set on his way to becoming the first Italian to make the Madrid Open final. 

Berrettini, who won the Serbia Open last month, is just the third Italian ATP Masters 1000 finalist since the series was established in 1990, after Fabio Fognini and Jannik Sinner. 

"It's a great, unbelievable feeling, especially coming from Monte Carlo where I wasn't feeling that good," Berrettini said in quotes reported by the ATP website. 

"I won in Belgrade and now I'm in the final, so I'm really looking forward to playing against Sascha [Zverev]. I hope I enjoy it tomorrow the way I enjoyed tonight.

"I saw him [Zverev], he's playing really good. He's solid. He moves well. For his height, he's really good. He serves well. I mean, he's in the final. He beat Rafa [Nadal] and Dominic [Thiem], probably the best players on clay.

"It's going to be a challenging match, but I'm in the finals. I guess the best two guys are going to play each other."

Berrettini returned supremely throughout Saturday's match, nullifying Ruud's usually potent serve, and believes his aggressive approach was key to victory.

"My serve is my weapon, but today I think I returned a lot and I put pressure on him," Berrettini said. "I was just playing more aggressive. He's kind of like me, he likes to run around the forehand and play with spin. But I guess today I was playing better than him.

"The other time he beat me, so it's always a great fight against him. He reached three semi-finals in a row so he was feeling confident. I guess that's why I'm maybe even more happy with my win today."

In the earlier semi-final, Zverev followed up his famous win over home favourite and 20-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal in the previous round by defeating Dominic Thiem.

Austrian Thiem had won the last four meetings between the two, including in last year's Australian Open semi-final and the US Open decider, where he came from two sets down to win in an incredible fifth-set tie-break.

However, Zverev was not to be denied this time, a 6-3 6-4 result keeping him on course for a repeat of his 2018 triumph at the event in the Spanish capital.

Alexander Zverev can see his rivalry with Dominic Thiem continuing for many years after he came out on top in their latest duel at the Madrid Open.

The German followed up his famous win over home favourite Rafael Nadal by defeating Austria's Thiem 6-3 6-4 in the semi-final on Saturday.

Zverev, who won this event in 2018, will meet either Casper Ruud or Matteo Berrettini in the final.

Thiem had won the last four meetings between the two, including in last year's Australian Open semi-final and the US Open final, where he came from two sets down to win in an incredible fifth-set tie-break.

Zverev said after his victory over Nadal that he would be thinking about that crushing loss in New York prior to his meeting with Thiem.

And he was able to gain a small measure of revenge for those recent grand slam defeats in the Spanish capital.

"We have had some fantastic matches," said Zverev. "We have played the biggest matches in the world. We have played Masters 1000 finals, we have played grand slam finals and [the rivalry] is still developing.

"It is still going to go on for a few more years. Hopefully we will play a few more amazing matches. It feels very [sweet to win], it is a rivalry where he kicks my a** most of the time!

"It is going to mean a lot to me [if I can win the final].

"I am definitely looking forward to playing another big final and I hope I can turn it my way this time."

A solitary break of serve was enough for Zverev to claim the opening set.

He recorded two breaks in the second to go 4-1 up and although Thiem got one strike back, two more holds gave Zverev - who forced 11 break points to his opponent's two - a big victory.

The world number six is yet to drop a set this week but has lost his last three Masters 1000 finals going into his latest attempt on Sunday.

Thiem, meanwhile, has reached the Madrid Open semi-finals in four straight years but it still waiting for his first triumph at the tournament.

Andy Murray heads to Rome on Saturday with the drive to show there could be one last special summer in his career, and he has an early test against Novak Djokovic booked in.

Former world number one and 11-time grand slam finalist Murray has not played since the Rotterdam Open in early March, having been forced to pull out of the Miami Masters due to a groin injury.

Staying fit has been a problem for Murray since he required a hip resurfacing procedure in January 2019, to deal with a persistent problem that threatened his career.

He particularly wants to play Wimbledon and the Olympics this year, having won both events twice, and hopes to do so in good health.

The 33-year-old is waiting to learn whether he must go through qualifying for the French Open or if a wildcard awaits. He is not entered into the upcoming Internazionali d'Italia but will be in Rome all the same, working to get himself match-ready for the tests that lie ahead.

Murray said: "I want to get out there to be around the top players and top tournaments. On Sunday I've got a court booked with [Diego] Schwartzman and then Novak [Djokovic] in the afternoon.

"I want to play against the highest-level players possible because I think that will help me improve my game quicker."

Quoted in the British media on Saturday, Murray said: "I'm really looking forward to going away [on Saturday] and being among those guys and having a good few months this summer, with Wimbledon and the Olympics. I feel good right now."

Murray was ruled out of the Australian Open, which took place in February, after contracting COVID-19, and the groin injury in Miami was another major disappointment.

While he will be limited to the practice courts in Rome, Murray is aiming to fit in at least one tournament before the French Open, with Geneva and Lyon both staging events in the week ahead of Roland Garros qualifying.

"It's difficult for me to look too far into the future," said Murray, now down to 123rd in the ATP rankings. "I need to try and find a way of staying on the match court for longer. It has been extremely frustrating.

"When I had the operation on the hip I knew it was going to be unbelievably challenging. It just feels there are a couple of things that have happened this year which have been very unfortunate, that have been hard to take."

Rafael Nadal said his shock quarter-final defeat to Alexander Zverev at the Madrid Open was "very difficult to understand". 

Nadal, a five-time champion at the event, was a break up in the first set of his 15th quarter-final at Caja Magica but lost 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 44 minutes.

The win was the biggest of Zverev's career on clay and confirmed his rise to second in the ATP Rankings. 

While Nadal said he was largely pleased with his displays in the Spanish capital, he was at a loss to explain the manner of his defeat on Friday. 

"I'm leaving Madrid with an overall positive feeling, but at the same time with the ugly feeling of having played a match like this today against a great player," Nadal told a media conference. 

"I think for most of the first set, I was playing better than him. And this is the negative part; while playing better than him in the first set, I still lost 6-4.

"This is very difficult to understand, especially for me. When this happens to me, it's usually in the opposite way. I find a way to win sets even though I'm not playing my best or as good as the opponent.

"I felt like I was playing better for much of the first set, but after a couple of errors – unjustifiable errors at the worst times – I found myself down a set.

"The outlook of the match changed there, both for me and for him. I knew then that a lot of suffering was waiting for me [in the second set], and for him, the knowledge that he just took a huge step forward during the match."

Zverev will face Dominic Thiem in the last four after the Austrian overcame John Isner 3-6 6-3 6-4 in an hour and 55 minutes. 

Thiem, who has now made it to the past four Madrid Open semi-finals, said: "I think we all know that he is one of the best servers in history and the altitude here in Madrid makes it even tougher to return his serve.

"I was a little bit surprised by his return games. I think he actually attacked both of my serves, the first and the second, and it took me a while to get used to it."

Casper Ruud will meet Matteo Berrettini in the other semi-final. 

Norwegian Ruud eased past Alexander Bublik 7-5 6-1 to make it three consecutive clay ATP Masters 1000 semis, while Berrettini beat Cristian Garin 5-7 6-3 6-0. 

Alexander Zverev recorded the biggest win on clay of his career as he stunned Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open.

Nadal, a five-time champion at this event, was a break up in the first set of his 15th quarter-final at Caja Magica but lost 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 44 minutes.

Zverev had won the previous two meetings with Nadal, both on indoor hard courts, after losing five consecutive matches against the 20-time major champion including a 6-1 6-1 rout in Monte Carlo in their first clay contest four years ago.

The world number six has five clay-court titles to his name, including this event in 2018, but defeating 13-time French Open champion Nadal on his favourite surface in front of a home crowd ranks among Zverev's finest achievements.

It looked as though Nadal was assuming control when he broke to love to lead 4-2 in the first set, but Zverev responded with a break back at the first time of asking.

The German had spoken of the Madrid courts playing faster than other clay events and the conditions certainly seemed to suit his fearless approach as Nadal struggled to deal with his crosscourt backhand.

He won the next three games to clinch a first set in which he lost just four of 16 points behind his first serve.

While Zverev looked increasingly confident, mixing up his shot depth and frequently coming to the net, Nadal cut an unusually frustrated figure even as he showed customary battling qualities to ward off a break point at 1-1.

However, more powerful hitting from Zverev saw him break to lead 4-2, and although he missed two chances for a double break, he closed out the match with minimal fuss.

"Definitely one of the biggest wins of my career," Zverev, who will face Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals, told Amazon Prime Sport. "Beating Rafa on clay is one of the toughest things to do in our sport."

Rafael Nadal saw off Alexei Popyrin to reach the Madrid Open quarter-finals on a day that saw Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas suffer surprise defeats.

World number two Nadal, chasing a record-extending sixth title on home soil, advanced 6-3 6-3 in a time of one hour and two minutes on Thursday.

Popyrin, playing in his first last-16 match at a Masters 1000 event, broke Nadal in the sixth game of the opening set but the Spaniard otherwise looked comfortable.

Nadal converted four of his six break points to advance through to the last eight for a 15th time, where Alexander Zverev awaits.

"It was difficult," Nadal said in his on-court interview. "The court today was slippery, it was very fast, very dry conditions. The ball was flying a lot. The beginning was super tough. 

"He was hitting every ball and hitting the spots. I'm happy with the victory. It was an important victory, he came here playing well. Every match is tough."

Zverev, who won the competition in 2018, beat British number one Dan Evans 6-3 7-6 (7-3) to set up a meeting with Nadal

However, second and fourth seeds Medvedev and Tsitsipas saw their participation come to an end at the hands of Cristian Garin and Casper Ruud respectively.

Medvedev, who is still yet to reach the quarters in Madrid, lost the only break of serve in the third game of the opening set but recovered by taking the second set in a tie-break.

Garin dominated the deciding set, the world number 25 breaking Medvedev twice and, after a short delay to fix a broken net, advanced 6-4 6-7 (7-2) 6-1.

Tsitsipas, who held championship point against Nadal in the Barcelona Open final, failed to break Ruud on a single occasion as he fell 7-6 (7-4) 6-4.

Alexander Bublik is next up for Ruud after beating Aslan Karatsev 6-4 6-3, while Matteo Berrettini - 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 winner against Federico Delbonis - will meet Garin.

Also vying for a place in the semi-finals are John Isner and Dominic Thiem, who are set to face off after beating sixth seed Andrey Rublev and Alex de Minaur respectively.

Rafael Nadal cruised to victory over birthday boy Carlos Alcaraz to start his Madrid Open campaign in impressive fashion.

The world number two moved into the last 16 with a 6-1 6-2 victory on Wednesday.

After being knocked out of the Monte Carlo Masters by Andrey Rublev in the last eight, Nadal bounced back to win the Barcelona Open last month and continued his momentum in this round-of-32 clash.

As wildcard Alcaraz turned 18, the spectators sang happy birthday to him but he could not mark the occasion with a famous result against his idol, with Nadal broken just once on his way to a 78-minute victory.

Five-time tournament winner Nadal converted five of his seven break points in a ruthless showing, with Real Madrid greats Iker Casillas and Raul in the crowd to watch him.

Nadal will play Alexei Popyrin, a straight-sets winner against rising star Jannik Sinner, in the next round.

Elsewhere, second seed Daniil Medvedev came from behind to defeat home hope Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 4-6 6-4 6-2. It was his first win in seven ATP Tour matches on clay.

"I am happy with the win," said the Russian.

"The first set wasn't easy and I thought it was going to be where I had another 25 break points and I wouldn't win. 

"I finally played quite well and did well in the third set. Madrid is a little faster than other clay tournaments, so it is better for my game."

The win means Medvedev has an 18-3 record this season and faces Chile's Cristian Garin next.

Medvedev's compatriot Aslan Karatsev beat Diego Schwartzman 2-6 6-4 6-1, having also defeated the French Open semi-finalist at the Australian Open this year.

In-form Karatsev will face Alexander Bublik next after his fourth top-10 win of the year.

Fifth seed Alexander Zverev said he was "clinical" in dispatching Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-2 in just 74 minutes, while fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas will play Benoit Paire later on Wednesday.

Dominic Thiem surged to an emphatic victory on his return to the ATP Tour at the Madrid Open.

US Open champion and two-time Madrid Open runner-up Thiem was playing his first match in nearly two months on Tuesday, having taken a break to recharge.

But it did not take him long to get back into the groove, the third seed easing through his second-round match with American qualifier Marcos Giron 6-1 6-3 at the ATP 1000 event.

"I was uncertain how things will be going. The game worked out very well in the past days of practice, but I was always practising on the outside courts which are faster, which are smaller, so I was just not sure how it was going to be in the match," Thiem said.

"But there were some things which I think made [the match] a little bit easier after such a long time, especially the conditions in Madrid, which are great for me.

"Then [I have] amazing memories on this court, where I already played probably some of the best matches of my career. I think that's why things worked out quite well tonight."

Next for Thiem in the last 16 is Alex de Minaur, who was leading 6-2 3-0 when Lloyd Harris retired from their match.

It was a largely strong day for the seeded players in the Spanish capital, home hope and ninth seed Roberto Bautista Agut beating Marco Cecchinato 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 in a first-round clash.

Andrey Rublev – the sixth seed – came from a set down to beat Tommy Paul 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4 and eighth-seeded Italian Matteo Berrettini joins him in the last 16 after defeating compatriot Fabio Fognini 6-3 6-4.

Jannik Sinner, who is seeded 14th, won in the first round after Guido Pella retired in the second set. However, four seeds did tumble out of the draw.

Felix Auger-Aliassime was thrashed 6-1 6-4 by Casper Ruud in the first round and his Canadian compatriot Denis Shapovalov was beaten 6-4 5-7 6-4 by Alexander Bublik in their second-round encounter.

Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz suffered a second successive second-round exit, the 12th seed defeated 5-7 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 by John Millman in a match that went the distance having lost at the same stage in Monte Carlo.

Carlos Alcaraz, a 17-year-old wildcard, will face Rafael Nadal in the second round of the Madrid Open, with the top seeds set to get their campaigns underway on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Alcaraz, featuring in an ATP Masters 1000 event for just the second time, was in impressive form as he saw off France's Adrian Mannarino 6-4 6-0.

The teenager, who will face Nadal on his 18th birthday on Wednesday, fired 19 winners as he took the initiative against his more experienced opponent and his reward is significant.

He became the tournament's youngest ever match winner, beating the record set by Nadal.

"For me, [to] play against Rafa is a dream come true," Alcaraz said as he readies himself to go up against the 20-time grand slam winner.

"Since I was a kid, I wished to play a match against Rafa and now I will be able to here [on] the Centre Court of La Caja Magica in Madrid. It is a really special match against Rafa."

He told Tennis Channel: "It's the best present for my birthday."

The biggest casualty of the day was 13th seed Grigor Dimitrov, who lost 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-5) to Lloyd Harris early on, the South African now 4-0 against top-20 opponents this year.

Two qualifiers in Pablo Andujar and Marcos Giron played out a remarkable encounter that lasted three hours and 21 minutes.

The first set alone clocked in at just over an hour and a half, but eventually Giron came through the gruelling clash 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 to set up a meeting with third seed Dominic Thiem.

Fabio Fognini defeated Carlos Taberner 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 6-3 for the right to face eighth seed and Italian countryman Matteo Berrettini.

Diego Schwartzman, the seventh seed, awaits Aslan Karatsev after he beat Ugo Humbert in straight sets in what was the Russian's debut appearance at the tournament.

Dan Evans and John Isner were among the other players to secure progress on Monday.

Denis Shapovalov relished feeling much better on court as he impressively bounced back from two consecutive defeats to win at the Madrid Open.

The number 11 seed brushed aside the challenge of Dusan Lajovic on Sunday, winning 6-1 6-3 in the first round.

Shapovalov had suffered disappointment on Thursday when he was knocked out in the second round of the Estoril Open, an event where he was the number one seed.

He has not reached the quarter-finals in his previous two ATP Tour events but won 90 per cent of his first-serve points against Lajovic, hitting 21 winners to his opponent's five.

"Just definitely felt a lot better - I felt very good on the court," Shapovalov said after a 63-minute win in which he did not lose serve. 

"I'm just happy to get the first win.

"Not much can change in the span of a couple of days, but Madrid is a place where I have had a lot of success, from back in juniors to making semis here in the Masters [1000 event] and finals of Davis Cup.

"It's just a place where it kind of feels like home to me and I just feel so comfortable." 

Shapovalov will face Alexander Bublik – who saw off Marton Fucsovics in straight sets – in round two.

Tommy Paul, meanwhile, will play Andrey Rublev after defeating Pedro Martinez.

In the only match of the day to go the distance, Australian Alex de Minaur battled back to triumph 4-6 7-5 6-1 against Jaume Munar.

He will play either Lloyd Harris or Grigor Dimitrov, who are scheduled to do battle on Monday.

Nikoloz Basilashvili won a fifth ATP Tour title as he triumphed at the BMW Open on Sunday.

The Georgian completed an impressive week in Munich by beating Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4 7-6 (7-5) to clinch the trophy without dropping a set in his five matches.

The win continued what has been a solid 2021 for Basilashvili, who won the title in Doha in March after defeating Roger Federer in his second match following his return from injury.

After retiring from his opening match in Monte Carlo last month before losing to Jeremy Chardy in Barcelona, the world number 35 had looked in fine form in Munich before battling to victory against Struff in just under 86 minutes.

"It wasn't easy and I was super-tight at the end," said Basilashvili. "It was very difficult. It's never easy playing Jan, he's a very big fighter and serves really well.

"I am super happy. It seems like German conditions suit me. This is my fifth [ATP Tour] title and it will give me confidence for the upcoming tournaments."

At the Estoril Open, Albert Ramos-Vinolas emerged victorious from a marathon final against Cameron Norrie.

The 33-year-old was a set and a break down but rallied to win 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-3) in two hours and 44 minutes in Portugal.

It was the Spaniard's third Tour title and took him to a 16-5 record on clay this season. He has at least seven more wins on the surface than any other ATP player this season.

Jan-Lennard Struff is through to his first final on the ATP Tour after ending Ilya Ivashka's impressive run at the BMW Open in Munich.

Struff had lost in his previous seven semi-final appearances and it appeared the streak may continue when he quickly fell 3-0 behind against his opponent from Belarus.

However, qualifier Ivashka – who had knocked out top seed Alexander Zverev in the previous round – only managed to win two more games in the remainder of a contest that spanned 87 minutes.

A 6-4 6-1 win for Struff sets up a showdown with Nikoloz Basilashvili, who crushed Casper Ruud 6-1 6-2 to progress through from the other half of the draw.

"I am happy to have reached my first final on home soil in Germany and I will try my best tomorrow," seventh seed Struff said after Saturday's match.

Both Basilashvili and Ruud had completed their quarter-final ties earlier on Saturday, but it was the former who coped better with a quick return to action on the clay court, easing to victory in 71 minutes.

At the Estoril Open, Cameron Norrie moved a step closer to a first ATP title after withstanding a barrage of aces to overcome the big-serving Marin Cilic in two sets.

Norrie managed to save five of the six break-point opportunities on his own serve as he eventually prevailed 7-6 (7-5) 7-5. His only previous experience of a final on the ATP Tour came back in 2019, when he lost to Tennys Sandgren at the ASB Classic in Auckland.

"[Marin] was serving great and it was really tricky to get his first serve back. I am fortunate to get through and I am just happy to be in my second final," the Briton said in his on-court interview.

Albert Ramos-Vinolas is the last player standing in his way, the Spaniard battling back after losing his serve in both sets to beat compatriot Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-1 6-4.

Jan-Lennard Struff and Filip Krajinovic had contrasting routes into the BMW Open quarter-finals on Thursday.

Home favourite Struff made it to the last eight of the clay-court tournament for the fourth time in his career with a 7-6 (7-3) 6-7 (0-7) 6-2 triumph over German countryman Dominik Koepfer, who had little to celebrate on his 27th birthday in Munich.

Struff recovered from 4-2 down to take the first set and racked up four straight games to seal the deciding set. He served 11 aces and staved off five break points in a match lasting two hours and 39 minutes.

"I am very, very happy that I turned around the first set," seventh seed Struff said in his on-court interview. 

"I played a not good second-set tie-break. Before [that] the set was okay, but I couldn't lock into his service games that much.

"I am very happy that I broke him I the third set and I am very happy to be through. Dominik is a good guy and a very good player."

Fourth seed Krajinovic stands in the way of Struff and a last-four berth, with the Serbian handed a walkover after last-16 opponent Yannick Hanfmann pulled out with a neck injury.

Nikoloz Basilashvili, seeded fifth, defeated Daniel Elahi Galan 6-4 6-2 to set up a last-eight clash with lucky loser Norbert Gombos, who overcame Federico Coria 6-4 6-1.

At the Estoril Open there was a battle between music collaborators as top seed Denis Shapovalov faced off against Corentin Moutet.

The duo were welcomed onto the court by the track 'Drip', which they released together last year.

On the court, it was Frenchman Moutet who managed to snare an upset victory in a 6-4 2-6 6-4 triumph against the Canadian, to score a second top-20 win of the year.

"It was a very close match," Moutet said. "I'm lucky that I won at the end. A few points decided the winner."

Next up is Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who defeated Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2 7-6 (7-3).

Cameron Norrie outlasted wildcard Pedro Martinez 4-6 7-6 (7-1) 7-5 to book a quarter-final against second seed Cristian Garin, who never took to the court as opponent Richard Gasquet withdrew with a left adductor problem.

Two-time BMW Open champion Alexander Zverev is hoping to enjoy further success in Munich after shaking off the rust in his opener on Wednesday.

Zverev has been managing an elbow injury and had only played three times since mid-March, swiftly departing Masters 1000 events in Miami and Monte-Carlo.

But the German is back in familiar territory on home soil and made light work of lucky loser Ricardas Berankis.

Zverev, who won the tournament in 2017 and 2018, needed just 87 minutes to claim a 6-2 6-4 victory.

"I haven't played much tennis the past few weeks, so I know I'll need to improve for the next match," he said.

"I've had success in the past and I feel good here. I've played well in the practice and hopefully I can do better on the match court."

Fellow seeds Casper Ruud and John Millman each also advanced, albeit the latter only when Guido Pella retired after the Argentine won the first set 6-4 and was 2-0 down in the second.

At the Estoril Open, Marin Cilic and Kevin Anderson will face off in an enticing quarter-final.

One-time US Open champion Cilic has a 6-1 career lead over Anderson, who has fallen to 105th in the world.

Cilic came from behind to beat Nuno Borges 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-4, while Anderson defeated Roberto Carballes Baena in straight sets.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic has revealed he will not play in the Madrid Open next week.

The world number one on Wednesday announced he will not take his place in the draw at the Caja Magica, where he won the title for a third time two years ago by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.

Djokovic suffered a shock defeat to Aslan Karatsev in the semi-finals of the Serbia Open on home soil last week and the 18-time grand slam champion will not be adding to his list of honours in Madrid.

He stated: "Sorry that I won’t be able to travel to Madrid this year and meet all my fans.

"It's been two years already, quite a long time. Hope to see you all next year!"

Djokovic has won 12 times and been beaten twice this season, claiming a ninth Australian Open crown in February.

The Madrid Open was not staged last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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