Third Masters 1K final of the year and a third different line-up not including a Big 3 member! Admittedly Zverev  had won this event a few years ago, but began the ’21 clay-court season poorly (2:2 record). Berrettini  was on an 8-match winning streak after claiming a Belgrade title. The final was played indoors. In the tie-break, the Italian led *5:0 and 6:4, but saved a set point at *6:7 with a powerful forehand that forced an error (Berrettini has won all his seven tie-breaks that reached 8-all, at the main-level). Zverev got a break in the 2nd set at 4-all. In the 3rd set he saved a break point at 1:2 and took three straight games. Serving to stay in the match, Berrettini made two big errors (forehand & overhead) to lose the game on the second match point with a casual backhand error. “It is great [to win this title], especially after losing my last three finals I played at Masters 1000 events,” Zverev said in his post-match interview. “This is definitely special and I just want to enjoy this one.” It’s interesting that after initial 5 defeats to Nadal, he has defeated the Spaniard in their last three matches, not being even forced to play a tie-break.
Zverev’s route to his 15th title:
2 Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-2
3 Daniel Evans 6-3, 7-6(3)
Q Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-4
S Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-4
W Matteo Berrettini 6-7(8), 6-4, 6-3
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