Rafael Nadal makes his anticipated return to his favourite surface a little later this year, after suffering a rib injury after Indian Wells. The Spaniard missed the opening Masters 1000 event on the dirt of Monte-Carlo, as well as Barcelona, to get match fit for Madrid.
Miomir Kecmanović is not an easy opening match for the 21-time Grand Slam champion. Having straight-setted Alexander Bublik in the opening round, the Serb is up there with Andrey Rublev and Carlos Alcaraz on 23 wins this season. Now playing at a career-high ranking of 32, he can now look at pushing into a good seeding position at Roland Garros.
These two have only met once before on the hard courts of Acapulco in 2020. However, despite Nadal winning that exchange in straight-sets, Kecmanović has been on an upward trajectory since then, and having reached the quarter finals of his last six events, he is aiming for a lucky seventh. Rafa might have some rust on him, and Kecmanović will be aware of this and could give the Spaniard a run for his money.
Prediction: Nadal in three sets.
Alexander Zverev  vs Marin Čilić H2H & Match Fundamentals
Alexander Zverev has not been out of the news this year – good or bad. The German has not started the season in the best of form, having only reached one ATP Final in Marseille, losing to Bublik in straight sets. The defending champion here in Madrid, Zverev comes into the Spanish capital off the back of an opening round loss to the rising Holger Rune in Munich.
His opponent, Marin Čilić, is no easy start. The former US Open champion is no stranger to the big courts, and has already taken out a clay specialist in Albert Ramos-Viñolas in the opening round. The Croat made the last eight on his previous visit to Madrid in 2019, and he will look to repeat that on his 11th appearance here.
Despite a disappointing last match, Zverev did show some good form over in Monte-Carlo a fortnight ago, reaching the semi final. He also holds a 6-1 record over Čilić, who will need to find some of his best tennis of the year so far if he is to come through this.
Simona Halep is lighting up the Spanish capital with the expertise of Patrick Mouratoglou behind her, having not dropped a set so far. The former World No.1 is finding some of her best clay form as she looks towards a third title here in Madrid. Halep has beat Paula Badosa and Coco Gauff in her last two matches, and plays Ons Jabeur for a spot in the semi final.
The Tunisian cracked the top-10 last year after showing consistent results on all three surfaces. Jabeur has just ended the eight-match win streak of Belinda Bencic, so is also loving the faster clay conditions in Madrid.
This one has the potential to be a tight match up. In their second meeting in Dubai, Jabeur had match points against the Romanian in a deciding tiebreaker, but lost out in the end. However, both ladies have had ups and downs since then, but if Halep can call on the experience she has on the Manolo Santana Stadium, she might just edge this one.
We may receive compensation for products purchased via affiliate links on this website
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.