Alexander Zverev ended Rafael Nadal’s quest for a sixth title at the Madrid Masters, upsetting the top seed 6-4, 6-4 in their Friday quarter-final.
The German fifth seed has now won his last three matches against the world No. 2 after dropping the first five in their career series.
“Sascha played his game,” Nadal said, “He’s a top player, so you can’t expect (anything else).
“It’s no surprise at all about his level.”
Nadal was playing in his record 96th Masters 1000 quarter-final but failed to reach a 75th semi in the elite series.
Zverev broke three times in the one-and-three-quarter hour match, moving into the semis against Dominic Thiem after the Austrian came back to overhaul John Isner 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Thiem leads the German 8-2 overall but lost the 2018 final here to his rival.
Zverev recovered from 2-4 down in the opening set against Nadal, who he had never defeated on clay.
The ATP No. 6 continued to maintain his distance from Spain’s king of clay, eventually cementing the upset and keeping a perfect record this week without the loss of a set.
The 24-year-old won his 13th match against just two losses in the capital, advancing on his first match point from Nadal’s forehand to the net.
“I had the match under control at the beginning, playing well for six games, probably playing better than him,” Nadal said.
“Then 2 serving for 5-2, I did a disaster. Playing against one of the best players of the world, with this speed of the court, is very difficult
“I tried. But the serve was difficult to control today… well done for him.
Main photo:- Sascha Zverev celebrates beating Rafa Nadal in Madrid by ATPTour.com