While Thiem admits the conditions in Madrid suit him perfectly - it is where he reached his first Masters 1000 final previous year - he also believes he produced exceptional tennis to overcome the King of Clay. But Thiem has never won an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event. Serving for the match, Shapovalov put on a dominant display as he won four straight points to claim victory after almost two-and-a-half hours of battle against the Briton. EPA-EFE/MARISCALPetra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in action against Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands during their final match of the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament at Caja Magica in Madrid, Spain, 12 May 2018. The rangy South African had already broken his Masters quarter-final duck (on his 11 attempt no less) but could go no further as Thiem backed up his stunning win over Rafael Nadal on Thursday.
To get to this stage, despite that shock victory over Rafa Nadal, Thiem's level has not been so impressive as Zverev's. By winning, the two brothers would be world No. 1s again.
"But I'm playing quite well; so is he".
"It's obviously a great final for kind of the future ahead", Zverev said of the meeting with Thiem. Zverev has won seven of his last nine final appearances and is 3-1 in final appearances on clay court.
In the last two years, Dominic Thiem and his German language speaking counterpart from Germany, Alexander Zverev, were the heirs apparent in tennis.
The third set looked like it was going to unfold in similar fashion, with Edmund and Shapovalov each holding serve through the first two games.
Kyle Edmund's impressive run at the Madrid Open came to an angry end as he was beaten by Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov in their quarter-final clash. "So is he. Hopefully it will be another entertaining one".
Meanwhile, the Spanish faithful were watching their favourite son, the defending champion Nadal, who was on a run of 50 consecutive sets won on clay, being battered into defeat by the stunning baseline shot-making of his younger opponent.
Since last year's loss to Thiem, Nadal had been impeccable on his preferred surface. However, he can reclaim it with victory in Rome, where he lost in that quarter-final to past year.
"Well, three weeks ago I beat him 6-0 6-3". 'I was keeping my level up from yesterday, so that was a great thing.
"Of course I am disappointed", Nadal said. Yeah, nearly everything worked out. There was also the fact that I never beat him. Another good showing on Sunday would place Thiem alongside Juan Martin del Potro as first-time Masters 1000 titlists in 2018.