July 16, 2024
Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz will try to make history at the Mutua Madrid Open this fortnight when he aims to become the first player to win three consecutive titles at the ATP Masters 1000 event. However, he is set to be tested in the Spanish capital, with Monday’s draw serving up a tricky path for the World No. 3.

Alcaraz is competing in his first European clay-court event of the season after missing Monte-Carlo and Barcelona due to a right arm injury. The 20-year-old will begin his title defence against Alexander Shevchenko or Arthur Rinderknech and could face Italian Lorenzo Musetti in the third round. Munich champion Jan-Lennard Struff, who lost to Alcaraz in the title match in Madrid last season, is a potential fourth-round opponent, with the German seeded to meet Dubai titlist Ugo Humbert in the third round.

If 2022 and 2023 Madrid champ Alcaraz can negotiate those tests, he might play 11th seed Holger Rune or seventh seed Andrey Rublev in the quarter-finals. Rune faces Bucharest finalist Mariano Navone or Australian Alexei Popyrin in his first match, while Rublev takes on Daniel Evans or a qualifier.

Record five-time champion Rafael Nadal continues his comeback in Madrid. The Spaniard, who reached the second round on his return to Tour last week in Barcelona, will play American wild card Darwin Blanch in the first round and will meet 10th seed Alex de Minaur if he advances. The 37-year-old’s last title triumph at the clay-court event came in 2017, when he beat Dominic Thiem in the final.

If they meet, Nadal will be aiming to avenge the defeat he suffered against De Minaur in Barcelona last week. The Spaniard leads the Australian 3-2 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series.

Fourth seed Alexander Zverev is in the same half as Alcaraz. The German is a two-time Madrid champion and starts against Borna Coric or a qualifier. Hubert Hurkacz is seeded to meet Zverev in the quarter-finals. The Pole, who won his first clay-court title in Estoril earlier this month, could face #NextGenATP Frenchman Arthur Fils in the third round.

Jannik Sinner is the top seed in Madrid and opens against Lorenzo Sonego or a qualifier. The Italian has won a Tour-leading three titles this season and would move to within 330 points of World No. 1 Novak Djokovic if he wins his second ATP Masters 1000 crown of 2024 in Madrid.

The No. 2 player in the PIF ATP Rankings is seeded to meet Karen Khachanov in the fourth round and Casper Ruud in the quarter-finals. The Norwegian Ruud arrives in Madrid fresh off winning his first ATP 500 crown in Barcelona. Ruud plays Zhizhen Zhang or Miomir Kecmanovic in his first match.

Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas are on a collision course to meet in the quarter-finals. Medvedev’s best result on clay came in Rome last year, when he won his maiden title on the surface. The Greek Tsitsipas is 10-1 on clay this season, having captured his third ATP Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo. Medvedev plays Christopher O’Connell or Matteo Arnaldi in his opening match, with Tsitsipas facing Dusan Lajovic or a qualifier. Nadal is in the same section as Tsitsipas and could face the sixth seed in the fourth round.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com