Unpicking the draw at the Madrid Open: who wins each quarter?
A potential rematch of the Barcelona Open final could be on the horizon in Madrid, with Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas on opposite sides of the draw.
However, top 10 stars including Andrey Rublev, Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev will be eager to book their own places in the Masters 1000 final.
First quarter-final prediction: Rafael Nadal vs Alexander Zverev
Top seed Rafael Nadal faces a tough draw with a potential second-round matchup against 17-year-old compatriot Carlos Alcaraz.
Should the 5-time champion prevail as expected, he will face another NextGen talent in Jannik Sinner at the round of 16 before a potential quarter final with Alexander Zverev, who is yet to beat the Spaniard on the clay surface.
Predicted quarter winner: Rafael Nadal
Second quarter-final prediction: Dominic Thiem vs Andrey Rublev
Over the last few seasons, Dominic Thiem has been labelled as the heir to Nadal’s clay-court throne. However, the Austrian is just 5-4 in 2021 and hasn’t played since Dubai in February after complaining of knee pain.
The World No 4 is a two-time finalist in Madrid and has been handed a generous draw, facing a qualifier in his opener before a potential clash with Grigor Dimitrov in the round of 16.
The Austrian is expected to face the red-hot Andrey Rublev in the quarter-finals and will have to find his best form to overcome the Russian.
Predicted quarter winner: Andrey Rublev
Third quarter-final prediction: Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Diego Schwartzman
Stefanos Tsitsipas pushed Rafael Nadal all the way in a mouth-watering final in Barcelona and has been in the form of his life during the European clay swing.
Tsitsipas returns to Madrid after a successful 2019 campaign, where he beat Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals before falling short to Novak Djokovic.
Another run to the semi-finals looks likely for the Greek star, who will take on either Benoit Paire or Nikoloz Basilashivili before a potential meeting with Felix Auger-Aliassime, who he beat in straight-sets in Barcelona last week.
The World No 5 could then face clay-court specialist Diego Schwartzman, who is yet to really find his form on his favourite surface following a successful 2020 season.
Predicted quarter winner: Stefanos Tsitsipas
Fourth quarter-final prediction: Daniil Medvedev vs Matteo Berrettini
Medvedev is yet to win a match at the Masters 1000 event in Madrid after first-round losses in 2018 and 2019.
The Russian will face another tough test this term with a potential opener against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina before a possible clay with Chilean Cristian Garin.
The World No 3 could then face Matteo Berrettini, who comes into Madrid after a brilliant victory in Belgrade, beating giant killer Aslan Karatsev in the final to win his first title since 2019.
Predicted quarter winner: Matteo Berrettini
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