After yesterday’s thrilling final between Carlos Alcaraz and Jan-Lennard Struff we are now one week closer to the French Open and only one Masters event away. The conclusion of the Mutua Madrid Open was a thrilling one as it provided much more than expected. Most of us expected a comfortable win for Spanish sensation considering his recent results and also comparing to the resume of the German and his current ranking. But Struff proved us all wrong and also proved that on his day he is a tough opponent for anyone with his powerful ground strokes and his all-round game. Carlos Alcaraz started the match in his usual manner with high level and high pressure on his opponent taking an early break to lead 2-0. Struff broke back and then the match was tied until 3 all when Alcaraz broke again and took the set 6-4. The second set started in the opposite manner as Struff took an early 3-0 lead in the set and was playing some amazing tennis. The variety he was bringing with his serve volley and all round power seemed to take Alcaraz off his stride as he was making more mistakes than usual. Struff closed the second set 6-3 but could not maintain the same level and young Spaniard also showed how mentally tough he already is and took the third set 6-3.
An honourable mention also goes to Andy Murray who won the Aix en Provence Challenger event by beating world number 17 Tommy Paul for his first title since 2019. This will give him the confidence needed for the upcoming tournaments.
Today we will have a big amount of Qualifying matches for the Rome Masters with the actual main draw matches starting Wednesday, this will be the last big tournament before the French and almost all the stars will be present. Rafa Nadal has announced his withdrawal but Novak Djokovic looks set to defend his title and add to his 6 wins here.
Here are my predictions for today’s tennis:
Basilashvili to beat Cobolli
Hanfman 2-0 Ocleppo
Sousa to beat Safiullin
Kokkinakis 2-0 Gigante
Popyrin 2-0 Bonadio
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