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Alexander Zverev vs Dominic Thiem Odds & Prediction – Madrid Open Semifinals

Stephanie Myles

by Stephanie Myles in Tennis

May 7, 2021 · 1:51 PM PDT

Alexander Zverev vs Dominic Thiem
Germany's Alexander Zverev returns the ball to Spain's Rafael Nadal during their match at the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament in Madrid, Spain, Friday, May 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
  • No. 5 seed Alexander Zverev defeated Rafael Nadal in straight sets Friday at the Madrid Open
  • No. 3 seed Dominic Thiem withstood an early challenge from John Isner to prevail in three sets
  • The two will meet for the first time since the 2020 US Open final Saturday, May 8 (10:00 am EDT)

For the third straight time – but the first time on clay – Alexander Zverev defeated Rafael Nadal in straight sets Friday.

And so, he and Dominic Thiem will meet on Saturday in what could be the de facto final at the Madrid Open, given who remains in the other half of the draw.

Alexander Zverev vs Dominic Thiem Odds

Player Spread Moneyline Total at DraftKings
[5] Alexander Zverev (GER) -1.5 (-120) -150 O 22.5 (-114)
[3] Dominic Thiem (AUT) +1.5 (-105) +123 U 22.5 (-110)

Odds as of May 7

The top two pre-tournament favorites, Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas, are now out.

Thiem was next at +700. And suddenly, Zverev (at +2000) is looking pretty good.

Thiem Outlasts a Hobbled Isner

At first, Thiem couldn’t get a handle on how quickly his serve was coming back on Friday, as John Isner was stepping in and taking big cuts at it.

As well, Thiem’s kick serve is by definition less effective on an opponent who’s 6-10.

But the Austrian withstood the first set. And eventually, Isner (who had already pulled out of Rome next week) started showing signs of a hip issue.

Isner was holding serve and hoping for the third-set tiebreak that had decided his two matches against No. 9 seed Roberto Bautista Agut and No. 6 Andrey Rublev.

He didn’t quite get there, losing 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Zverev Upsets the Great Nadal

If 2018 Madrid champion Zverev was down the list in the pre-tourney odds, it was because his recent form had been poor.

But that wasn’t due to a slump. An elbow issue had hampered the German. Clearly, by his serve velocity this week, that has been resolved.

Meanwhile, Nadal really struggled Friday.  He didn’t hit a single forehand winner in the first set.

“In the 4-2 (game) serving for 5-2, I did a disaster. Another bad game with (the score) 30-love. Of course, playing against one of the best players of the world, under this circumstances, with this speed of the court, is very difficult to still (feel) confident,” Nadal said.

The second set of the 6-4, 6-4 defeat wasn’t much better.

Alexander Zverev vs Dominic Thiem Head-to-Head

Alexander Zverev
Dominic Thiem

24 (April 20, 1997) Age 27 (Sept. 3, 1993)
Hamburg, Germany Birthplace Lichtenworth, Austria
6-6 Height 6-1
14 Career ATP Singles Titles 17
No. 3 (Nov. 6, 2017) Career High Ranking No. 3 (March 2, 2020)
No. 6 Current Ranking No. 4
$24,012,696 Career Prize Money $28,586,381
14-7 2021 Won/Loss record 8-4
2 Career Head-to-Head 8

Chapter 11 in the Thiem-Zverev Rivalry

These two have had some good matches and some one-sided ones.

But their most recent one no doubt remains indelibly etched in both their memories.

Zverev was up two sets to none in their 2020 US Open final last September.

And then he was up 5-3 in the fifth set. He served for it and was broken. He had to break to stay in the match (and did).

But he double-faulted twice in the deciding tiebreak.

The match had everything, good and bad.

And it was Thiem’s first career Grand Slam title.

Alexander Zverev vs Dominic Thiem Match History

Year Tournament Surface Score Winner
2020 US Open (F) Outdoor Hard 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (6) Thiem
2020 Australian Open (SF) Outdoor Hard 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4) Thiem
2019 ATP Tour Finals (SF) Indoor Hard 7-5,  6-3 Thiem
2018 French Open (QF) Outdoor Clay 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 Thiem
2018 Madrid (F) Outdoor Clay 6-4, 6-4 Zverev
2017 Rotterdam (R32) Indoor Hard 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 Thiem
2016 Beijing (R32) Outdoor Hard 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 Zverev
2016 French Open (R32) Outdoor Clay 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 Thiem
2016 Nice (F) Outdoor Clay 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 Thiem
2016 Munich (SF) Outdoor Clay 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 Thiem

Rematch of the 2018 Madrid Final

Thiem and Zverev met in the finals of the 2018 Madrid event, won by Zverev in straight sets.

That was the last time he defeated the Austrian.

And yet, Zverev is the slight favorite in this match – helped by the fact that he’s much more dangerous in the best-of-three Masters 1000 format than the best-of-five-set Grand Slam format.

Thiem’s confidence and match toughness will have taken big leaps this week. But he’s still not playing his best. Zverev has been playing close to his best, but much will depend on the steadiness and nerviness of his second serve.

Best Bet: Zverev (-150) in three sets (+320)

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