The second of three Masters events in the lead-up to the majestic Roland Garros gets underway this week in Madrid.
The ATP Mutua Madrid Open main draw starts on Sunday and runs to May 8. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic headlines a star-studded cast in the Spanish capital that includes most of the Top 10 players save for World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev and World No.6 Matteo Berrettini, both out due to injury.
Here at BetUS, we’ve got you covered for all the sensational tennis betting action, as we examine the draw in the men’s game and analyze the tennis odds that are on offer.
Djokovic is back to full-time play in Europe as many of the COVID-19 restrictions on the continent, preventing the unvaccinated player from competing, have been removed. Djokovic made his European debut at the Monte Carlo Masters earlier this month where bookmakers tipped the Serbian as the player to beat, despite his lack of match fitness. However, he failed to live up to those lofty expectations as he lost to Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-1, in the first round.
The following week, Djokovic played host to a slew of top players at his home event in Serbia. Once again, he was the favorite to win according to the oddsmakers. This time, Djokovic did get his campaign off the ground to reach the final. But he was bested in a three-set final by Andrey Rublev, 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-0.
With two events and several matches under his belt, Djokovic should be moving closer to the form that made him one of the toughest competitors on the ATP Tour. How he performs this week in Madrid will be a great barometer for tennis betting fans because he’s sure to be tested.
Djokovic’s quarter is stacked with threats. He could face an in-form Gael Monfils in his opening, second-round match (top players get a first-round bye). In the third round, he could face either Dominic Thiem, Andy Murry, or Denis Shapovalov.
Things could get interesting in the quarterfinals if Djokovic comes up against Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina. The Serbian will be keen to atone for his Monte Carlo loss to the Spaniard.
Of course, a Djokovic vs. Davidovich-Fokina rematch is only one of several potential matchups in the final eight. Norway’s Casper Ruud is the second-highest seed in this section (seeded fifth) and Hubert Hurkacz is the next highest seed after Ruud. Either could emerge as a quarterfinal opponent.
Nadal is back after an injury layoff that saw him miss the start of the European clay-court swing – arguably, his favorite time of the year as he prepares for his beloved French Open.
Nadal was on a tear before he was sidelined with a rib injury, winning three titles on the bounce: ATP Melbourne, 2022 Australian Open, and ATP Acapulco, He finished runner-up to Taylor Fritz at the Indian Wells Masters in March.
The Madrid Open marks Nadal’s first clay-court tournament of the year. All eyes will be on the 35-year-old Spaniard and how he performs in his home event. Nadal is the current favorite at +120 to win the French Open for an incredible 14th time, but any missteps in Madrid could see his tennis odds tumble.
Nadal got no favors from the draw. Not only does he fall into the top half of the draw with Novak Djokovic, but he also falls alongside teenage phenom, Carlos Alcaraz, in the second quarter. The 18-year-old is already earning comparisons to Nadal with many calling him the “new Nadal.”
Alcaraz won his biggest title to date in Miami last month. Most recently, he won the Barcelona Open title – his second clay-court title of the year, cementing his credentials as a force to be reckoned on the red dirt.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) April 24, 2022
Nadal vs Alcaraz would be the popcorn match of the Madrid Open. However, before either can look that far ahead, they must navigate a treacherous course to the final eight.
Nadal could see Miomir Kecmanovic or Alexander Bublik in the second round. Aslan Karatsev or Pablo Carreno-Busta loom ominously as potential R16 opponents. Alcaraz, by contrast, could face veteran Fabio Fognini or Nikoloz Basilashvili in the R32. Cameron Norrie, John Isner or Filip Krajinovic loom as potential R16 challengers.
Stefanos Tsistipas won the Monte-Carlo Masters title earlier this month, but his run on clay was derailed in Barcelona by Carlos Alacarz. The Spaniard overcame Tsitsipas 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) April 22, 2022
The World No. 5 is making his third straight appearance on the European clay-court swing. He brings a season 6-1 record on clay to Madrid. Careerwise, Tsitsipas has a 5-3 record in three appearances in Madrid. His best result was a runner-up finish to Djokovic in 2019, beating Alexander Zverev and Nadal along the way to the final. Last season, Tsitsipas crashed out of the tournament in the R16 behind a narrow loss to Ruud.
Tsitsipas falls into a third quarter that is flanked by Rublev, who is coming off a title win in Serbia. Right out of the gates, Tsitsipas could face Karen Khachanov or Lucas Pouille in the R32. The next round could see Grigor Dimitrov or Deigo Schwartzman emerge.
Rublev will be buoyed by beating Djokovic in the final. However, his opening match could be a tricky one with Lorenzo Sonego as a potential opponent. Daniel Evans, Federico Delbonis, Jenson Brooksby or Roberto Bautista Agust could be potential R16 opponents.
Of all the quarters, Zverev’s is the most wide-open because the German star is struggling to find consistent form. Whereas the opposite end is flanked by Felix Auger Allliasime, who isn’t exactly a clay-court guru.
This section could serve up the biggest surprise and offer bettors the best value in tennis match-betting markets this week.
Jannik Sinner is a name that practically leaps of the page as a potential beneficiary to win this quarter. Another is Sebastian Korda, who beat Carlos Alcaraz in Monte-Carlo earlier this year.
— Jannik Sinner (@janniksin) April 22, 2022
Tennis Betting Verdict: Best Bets
Arguably, the best bets to win this tournament are Nadal, Alcaraz, and Djokovic – the same favored to win Roland Garros next month. Until proven otherwise, it’s hard to look beyond this triplet.
That said, Tsitsipas is another player that is proving to be a solid and consistent performer on clay. One has to consider his chances in Madrid, especially given the fact that the bottom half of the draw is the so-called “easier” section. He’s probably thanking his lucky stars for having avoided the aforementioned top three in Madrid. He won’t have to face any (if at all) of these three until the final.