But earlier this week, the right-hander dispatched Nadal in the quarter-finals, snapping the Spaniard's 50-set and 21-match clay win streaks for his third win (3-6) against the No. 1 player in the ATP Rankings.
When serving out for a title like this, especially against Dominic, who is one of the best returners especially on this surface, on clay courts.' Dominic Thiem just hailed Zverev as the best player on the tour behind Nadal and Federer right now.
"I repeat the same always". He won the French Open and the hard-court U.S. Open to take his Grand Slam haul to 16, and he came to the Spanish capital fresh off winning his 11th titles at both Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
"Okay, what happened last week was - forget it".
"In general, I was playing not good enough". I know what I did wrong, and I'm gonna try to change that for this week. I am proud with my results after the injury. The straight-set win over Nadal in the quarter-final would have given him a lot of confidence. "So that's what I'm looking for".
Five-time Madrid victor Nadal, who will be bidding for an 11th French Open title in Paris later this month, had won his previous 21 matches on clay.
Swiss star Wawrinka struggled on his return after nearly three months on the sidelines, falling to a 6-4, 6-4 first round defeat on Sunday to 55th-ranked American Steve Johnson. "I know the reason and I am working with my team on what I have to do to avoid other defeats.", said Nadal.
"I was keeping my level up from yesterday, so that was a great thing".
"It was pretty hard for me to have a break in the third set and lose my serve", Kvitova said. Every week there is a new tournament. And I think that makes it just slightly more hard to beat him there. Because I have a great story on all these events.
He stunned Nadal, and then backed it up with a first win in seven attempts over Kevin Anderson, but his start here looked slow and sluggish, and that will to win was more a will to sort of hang on, which didn't pay off. He always had position to move around and to play a good shot, to strike the ball in a comfortable position for him.
"So, I can win Roland Garros losing here, and I can win Roland Garros winning here".