Not Nadal, not Djokovic. Can Alcaraz be stopped? , Play


ITiriac, proprietor of the Matua Madrid Open, has made no secret of his want to convey his event nearer to a Grand Slam occasion. In 2009, he moved it from fall to the extra related spring, made it dual-gender, provided sky-high and equal-prize cash, and lobbied to make it a two-week occasion. Fourteen years later, they’ve nearly achieved their purpose. Like its teammates in Indian Wells and Miami, Madrid is now nearer to a fortnight afterward the tour’s calendar.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t function two of the game’s most well-known energetic gamers, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Unwell Huge 2 are all in regards to the majors at this stage of their careers, and regardless of Tiriac’s greatest efforts, Madrid nonetheless is not one in all them.

Rafa and Djokovic apart, nonetheless, the sphere is packed, and at almost $9 million, the prize cash can be very enticing. This is a take a look at what we are able to anticipate from the lads’s aspect in Madrid over the subsequent two weeks.

first quarter

Coming to Madrid a yr in the past, we knew Carlos Alcaraz was good. When he went out and beat Nadal and Djokovic back-to-back and received the title, we knew he was probably an all-time good. Twelve months later, he has achieved nothing to vary our minds. She is the highest seed, the No. 2 participant on the planet, and has a powerful 23-2 document and three titles this season. Add to that the truth that he’ll be enjoying in entrance of his home-country followers on a floor he loves, and you must make Carlitos the heavy favourite to repeat. If he reaches the quarterfinals, he may also play a match on his 20th birthday.

Is there anybody on this quarter who can cease Alcaraz from ruining the celebration? The close by three seeds are Grigor Dimitrov, Sebastian Korda and Alexander Zverev. Of the three, Zverev, who beat Alcaraz at Roland Garros final yr and is a two-time champion in Madrid, appears to be like probably the most harmful. On the opposite aspect of the quarter, Andrey Rublev is the very best seed on this quarter. He has been performing effectively this spring, and has by no means performed Alcaraz.

First-round match to observe: Stan Wawrinka vs. Maxime Crécy

Semifinalist: Alcaraz

Second quarter

Kasper Rudd and Holger Rune are the highest two seeds right here, and a quarterfinal assembly between these Scandinavian antagonists (Scantagonists?) shall be spicy. What can we see in it?

Proper now, the decrease ranked runes are in higher type. He’s 8-1 with one title and one runner-up throughout his clay swing. Ruud additionally has a clay title at Estoril, however it’s a uncommon spotlight in a mid-year for a participant trying to make two Slam finals in 2022. Ruud was a semifinalist in Madrid two years in the past, however Ruud’s extra muscular enjoying model could also be higher suited. for the tough situations there.

ALSO HERE: Lorenzo Musetti and 2022 quarterfinalist Hubert Hurkaz

Semifinalist: Roon

third quarter

We all know that Alcaraz and Djokovic shall be favorites at Roland Garros and Nadal if he’s wholesome sufficient to play. However what about that different clay standout of current years, Stefanos Tsitsipas? He was a set off the title in Paris two years in the past and appears like he has lastly recovered from the shoulder harm he developed in Australia in January. Tsitsipas was inspired by his journey to the Barcelona last final week however was left upset by a straight-sets defeat to the clearly superior Alcaraz on Sunday.

Tsitsipas is the highest seed on this quarter, and appears to be on a manageable path to the semifinals. The three seeds close by are Sébastien Baez, Tommy Paul and Dan Evans, and the very best seed on this quarter is Felix Auger-Aliassime. The Canadian was a quarter-finalist in Madrid final yr, however a knee harm has stored him out since Miami.

Not Nadal, not Djokovic.  Can Alcaraz be stopped?

People to observe: Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul, Ben Shelton, Mackenzie McDonald, Marcos Giron. Madrid clays are usually a bit extra hospitable to their hard-court-based video games than different venues.

Attainable second spherical match to observe: Tsitsipas vs Dominic Thiem

Semifinalist: Tsitsipas

fourth quarter

Daniil Medvedev is the most important query mark on this draw. On the plus aspect, he has been probably the most constant participant on tour in 2023 with a 31-Four document and 4 titles. The marginally windier situations in Madrid must also, in idea, favor his flat ball-striking. However then there’s the minus aspect. Medvedev has by no means received a title on clay, and has by no means reached the quarterfinals in Madrid. He can not even trip the tempo that carried him by February and March.

How Medvedev performs right here could rely upon his angle to this a part of the floor and climate. Have they invested in it? On paper, he’s the very best participant on this quarter. The seeds closest to him are Jiri Lehka, Botik Van de Zandschulp and Alex de Minaur; The 2 highest seeds within the different half are Taylor Fritz and Cam Norrie.

Talking of Fritz, he is coming off semifinal races in Monte Carlo and Munich, and he ought to just like the service-friendly situations in Madrid much more.

Potential second-round matches to observe: Medvedev vs. Andy Murray

Semifinalist: Fritz

Semifinals: Alcaraz d. rune; Tsitsipas d. fritz

Finalist: Alcaraz d. Tsitsipas. –

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