MADRID: Alexander Zverev avenged his defeat by Dominic Thiem in last year’s U.S. Open final in clinical fashion on Saturday, beating the Austrian 6-3 6-4 to reach the final of the Madrid Open. Zverev, who beat top seed and tournament favourite Rafa Nadal in straight sets in the quarter-finals on Friday, will meet Matteo Berrettini in Sunday’s final after the Italian beat Norway’s Casper Ruud 6-4 6-4 in the second semi-final. Germany’s Zverev, who was champion in Madrid in 2018, made a strong start, breaking Thiem early in each set in what turned out to be a routine victory, despite a swirling wind at Caja Magica. Thiem held an 8-2 head-to-head advantage over Zverev coming into the semi-final, winning their last four meetings, including his come-from-behind victory at last year’s U.S. Open where he claimed his first major title. The third seed’s only defeat to Zverev on clay was in the final in Madrid two years ago, but he never really settled into his stride on Saturday, struggling with his first serve and making 20 unforced errors, including three double faults. Zverev, on the other hand, sent down six aces and 25 winners as he cruised to victory. Eighth seed Berrettini, who has dropped only one set in the tournament, will be aiming to win his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title against Zverev on Sunday.