Alexander Zverev hails ‘best’ performance in months as he bags Madrid Open semi-final spot

Defending Madrid Open champion Alexander Zverev is two games away from retaining his crown following a straight sets quarter-final victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Zverev's dominant ground game helped him overcome serve issues as he beat the Canadian 6-3 7-5 in just under two hours. 

The German seemed on course for a routine victory after taking the opening set with relative ease. The current world number three then went 4-1 up in the second, but failed to build on his advantage as Auger-Aliassime produced his first break and began to make inroads.

Nevertheless, Zverev showed his class and his cool as he shook off the late fightback to eventually punch his way to the Madrid Open semi-final.

"I think this was maybe the best match of the last few months from my side, except maybe the end a little bit," Zverev told atp.com. "Throughout one-and-a-half sets I played good tennis and I hope I can continue playing this way."

The German had real problems with his serve in the second set, producing a total of eight double faults.

Looking back, Zverev explained: "I couldn't put a serve in the court. I had chances to go up 5-1 in the second set and I think the match would have been over. But I didn't use my chances and he fought back well. But I kept fighting as well, and that's how I got the win."

Alexander Zverev (GER) during his quarter final round match at the Mutua Madrid Open

Next up for Zverev is a clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas - a rematch from the recent Monte Carlo semi-final, which saw the Greek player come out on top.

Despite three previous encounters, Zverev is yet to beat Tsitsipas on clay. When asked about his next opponent, the German added: "Rafa is on his way back and Novak is starting to gain momentum, but right now maybe he's the best clay-court player in the world.

"I think I need to play my best level to have a chance, but I'm looking forward to this match because in Monte Carlo he beat me quite easily. I hope I can change that."

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