Alexander Zverev became just the fifth active player on the ATP Tour to lift three Masters 1000 titles or more as he beat Dominic Thiem at the Madrid Open.
The German was at his brilliant best as he won his first match over the Austrian on clay and in the process became the first player outside the Big Four to win the title since the event moved to the clay courts at the Caja Magica.
In that time the 21-year-old has competed in four Masters 1000 finals, beating Djokovic in Rome and Federer in Montreal and losing to John Isner in Miami before his ruthless 6-4 6-4 win over Thiem in an hour and 18 minutes on Manolo Santana.
Active players with three or more Masters 1000 titles
31 – Nadal
30 – Djokovic
27 – Federer
14 – Murray
3 – Zverev
In truth, his opponent never got a look in. Zverevs serve fired almost robotically and Thiem was unable to recreate the magic from his win over Nadal in the quarter-finals. From the word go, there was little doubt over who would secure victory.
And having claimed a title in Munich before heading to Madrid, Zverev has confirmed himself as one of the main men to beat at Roland Garros, although questions remain over his form at Grand Slam level.
Before worrying about that, though, the world No. 3 now travels to Rome, where he will look to defend his Italian Open crown, while he has moved above Juan Martin del Potro into second place for the Race to London.
It was a disastrous start for the Austrian, who looked nervy in the opening stages, as he hit a double fault to hand Zverev the break.
The German was not been broken throughout the week heading into the final and he showed early signs of why, with his big, accurate and varied serve hitting its mark and often followed up by a thumping forehand.
Thiem was unable to execute as well as he had against Nadal and Kevin Anderson in the previous rounds and Zverevs all-round game was working seamlessly.
There was half a sighting for the world No. 7 as Zverev served for the set but more ruthless serving got him out of a hole at 0-30 and he stormed to a 1-0 lead after 36 minutes.
As in the opener, it was a nightmare beginning to the second set for Thiem as a huge forehand winner from Zverev secured the breakthrough.
Just minutes later he was nearly 3-0 down, but the 24-year-old dug deep from 15-40 down to keep himself in the match.
But it proved to be too little too late as Zverev continued to hold and he saw out the match with consummate ease.