Plenty of Challengers to Take On Alcaraz
The first thing of note when looking at the men’s singles field is who is not in Madrid for one of the biggest clay court events on the ATP calendar.
Five-time champion Rafael Nadal and three-time champ Novak Djokovic are both injured and not part of the impressive field and that will impact the Mutua Madrid Open picks heading into this event.
That could open the door for Carlos Alcaraz to join Nadal as the only back-to-back champions in Madrid. Nadal won in 2013 and 2014, and his quest to become the No. 1 player before the start of the French Open will be featured prominently in the tennis news cycle.
Eleven of the top 13 ranked players are entered in a loaded field. Daniil Medvedev and Alcaraz rank first and second in the tennis player stats when it comes to returning serve.
Three-time Grand Slam singles champion Stan Wawrinka is among those set to hit the court on Wednesday for the start of the men’s draw.
The most competitive of Wednesday’s ATP matches could be the one between Thanasi Kokkinakis and Jaume Munar, as well as the showdown between Alexander Bublik and Daniel Elahi Galan. The biggest favorite is Richard Gasquet. Gasquet has struggled in Madrid with a 9-10 career record.
Alcaraz (-165) is the overwhelming favorite to win the title according to the Mutua Madrid Open odds.
According to the Mutua Madrid predictions, Alcaraz (+160) trails only Djokovic in the French Open outrights. Among the players in the Madrid field, Stefanos Tsitsipas (+650), Casper Ruud (+1200), and Holger Rune (+1400) have the best odds to win the French Open.
First Quarter: Alcaraz Looks to Keep Rolling
Alcaraz didn’t lose a set in winning the title at Barcelona. The competition will be much more daunting in Madrid after Alcaraz faced only one top-25 player last week.
Your top seeds in Madrid 🔥
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He already has won three titles and has been to the finals in four of his five tournaments in 2023. Alcaraz eliminated three top-10 players en route to winning in Madrid in 2022 and now he goes for back-to-back titles.
Alcaraz could meet up with American Sebastian Korda, who won in three sets when the two met in the second round at the 2022 Monte Carlo event. Alcaraz won the rematch in straight sets six weeks later at the French Open.
If the seeds hold true to form, it would be Alcaraz meeting Alexander Zverev for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Zverev has won three of the four meetings with Alcaraz and that includes a quarterfinal win in the 2022 French Open. The lone win by Alcaraz came in last year’s Madrid event. Those who bet on tennis will be eagerly awaiting that possible showdown. For the latest odds and to place your bets on the outright winner of the ATP Stockholm tournament.
In the other part of that quarter, No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev could meet up with Wawrinka in the second round. Wawrinka is not seeded in the tournament. Still, he can be a dangerous floater. No. 10 seed Karen Khachanov has split his four matches with Rublev. They just met in Monte Carlo with Rublev winning 7-6, 6-2.
- Quarterfinal Prediction: Alcaraz vs Rublev
Second Quarter: Can Ruud Shake Off Spotty Play?
It has not been an impressive start to 2023 for Casper Ruud with seven losses to players outside of the top 30 and two outside of the top 100.
The No. 3 seed did reach the semifinals in Madrid in 2021. However, he lost in his first match in 2022.
Rudd was extended to a third-set tiebreaker in his lone match against No. 26 seed Tallon Griekspoor back in 2021.
Ruud does have a 4-0 record against No. 6 seed Holger Rune. The last time they met was in the 2022 French Open quarterfinals, with Rudd winning in four sets. That is the only set that Rune has won against Ruud.
A potential matchup with Lorenzo Musetti could be challenging for Ruud. In the most recent meeting, Musetti came away with a three-set win in the 2022 Paris Masters tournament.
- Quarterfinal Prediction: Ruud vs Rune
Third Quarter: Tsitsipas Will Be Tested
Americans are prevalent in this quarter of the bracket with No. 9 seed Frances Tiafoe, No. 14 seed Tommy Paul, and No. 32 seed Ben Shelton looking to survive a challenging draw.
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Felix Auger-Aliassime are the top seeds in this part of the draw with the Las Vegas odds listing Tsitsipas (+400) as second only to Alcaraz in the Madrid betting odds.
Tsitsipas could be in for a fight early on as Dominic Thiem is a possible second-round opponent. Thiem has won five of the eight previous matches with Tsitsipas. However, the two haven’t met since 2020.
Tsitsipas had a tussle with No. 25 seed Sebastian Baez at the 2022 Australian Open.
Auger-Aliassime is 3-0 against Tiafoe and hasn’t dropped a set in the last two meetings.
Auger-Aliassime and Paul had an entertaining clash at Indian Wells last month with Auger-Aliassime winning in a third-set tiebreaker. He is 11-3 against Americans over the last two seasons. Paul had a strong run at the Australian Open and looks to put himself in a position to do the same at the French Open.
- Quarterfinal Prediction: Paul vs Tsitsipas
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— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) January 30, 2023
Fourth Quarter: Fritz Eyes Another Deep Run
Danill Medvedev, the world’s No. 3-ranked player, is also third in the betting odds heading into the tournament as he is priced at +500 to take the title.
Medvedev had a strong showing at back-to-back ATP 1000 events in the United States as he won the Miami Open with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Jannik Sinner. That was preceded by a run to the title match at Indian Wells thanks to a pair of three-set wins.
He won titles at Doha and Dubai. In Dubai, he rolled past No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 6 Andrey Rublev in the semifinals and finals. He also won the title at Rotterdam so he is a player worth keeping an eye on even though he has never made it past the Round of 16 in three previous appearances in Madrid.
A second-round match between No. 2 seed Medvedev and Andy Murray could be a treat. Medvedev hasn’t lost a set in his three career matchups with Murray. Still, Murray is a dangerous floater in any draw.
Medvedev is 4-1 against No. 16 seed Alex de Minaur. However, de Minaur did take the most recent meeting at the 2022 Paris Masters tourney.
It is hard to know what to expect from American Taylor Fritz as his most likely fourth-round opponents would be Cameron Norrie or Denis Shapovalov and he hasn’t squared off against either of them.
Fritz recently upset Tsitsipas and took the first set from Rublev at Monte Carlo. He has reached at least the quarterfinals in his last seven tournaments.
- Quarterfinal Prediction: Fritz vs Medvedev
If you’re a devoted tennis fan, be sure to explore our selection of lines and odds available for the Challenger Madrid Tournament.
Way Too Early Predictions for Semifinals, Final
- Top Half Semifinal Prediction: Alcaraz vs Ruud
- Bottom Half Semifinal Prediction: Tsitsipas vs Medvedev
- Final: Alcaraz vs Medvedev