2021 Mutua Madrid Open Men’s Predictions
After being canceled in 2020, the 2021 Madrid Open will go on as planned. As expected, the entry list consists of all the top players. One notable exception is Roger Federer, who seems to be extra careful as he plans his comeback from knee surgery. Fans can most probably expect Roger back at Roland Garros. In the meantime, there’s plenty of stars to chew on at the Madrid Open, including five-time champion Rafa Nadal and three-time champion Novak Djokovic.
That being said, it’s not all Rafa and Novak these days. As we saw in Monte Carlo, Stefanos Tsitsipas seems to be the player that everyone is tipping to have an incredible season. He showed in Monte Carlo that he can win big on clay. Andrey Rublev is also a player that is further establishing himself on the big stage, taking down Rafa Nadal in three sets for one of the biggest wins of his career. Finally, let’s not forget about Dominic Thiem, who after all is supposed to be the heir apparent to Nadal on the red clay.
Madrid promises to continue our storyline of old guard vs. new guard, and so far on the red clay, it’s been all new guard. Can the new guard continue to win the big titles? Let’s take a look at the top seeds.
5. Stefanos Tsitsipas
Tsitsipas is quickly becoming the favorite on clay this season. With a win at Monte Carlo and a finals appearance at Barcelona, his chances in Madrid are looking really good. Expect to see Tsitsipas at the very least in the semifinals. A rematch against Nadal would be amazing.
4. Dominic Thiem
Thiem has been a two-time finalist in Madrid, losing to Rafa Nadal in 2017 and Alex Zverev in 2018. Thiem needs a solid result if he wants to be a contender at Roland Garros. Since winning the 2020 US Open his stock has tumbled. Much needed rest before this tournament may be a positive for him.
3. Danill Medvedev
Don’t expect Medvedev to post a solid result at Madrid this year. He seems to be allergic to red clay. For whatever reason, his game gets completely neutralized by the opposition on this stuff.
2. Rafa Nadal
After a disappointing start to his clay-court season in Monte Carlo, Nadal is back on track. He beat the Monte Carlo Masters champion, Stefanos Tsitsipas in three sets to take the Barcelona title for the 12th time. On to Madrid, we go, where he’s won five times. Nadal will be the clear favorite here.
1. Novak Djokovic
Novak looked lackluster in Monte Carlo, losing to Dan Evans in straight sets. At the Serbian Open, he looked a bit better in his semifinal against Aslan Karatsev. Can he make one better in Madrid? I wouldn’t bet against him. There were flashes of greatness from Djokovic in Serbia. If he’s getting into the swing of things, watch out, we may have another Nadal/Djokovic final in Madrid.
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