APRIL 22 - MAY 5, 2024

Five mouth-watering ATP encounters in Madrid

The ATP main draw for the 2023 Mutua Madrid Open is now set in stone. The draw ceremony took place in the Caja Mágica on Sunday afternoon in the presence of young Madrid-born player Martín Landaluce, acting as assistant to ATP supervisor Gerry Armstrong alongside tournament director Feliciano López.

The lion’s share of attention as from Wednesday 26 April will be on five first-round matches that promise to keep the tennis-lovers visiting the Spanish capital on the edges of their seats. The fans this year will be able to enjoy an extended 96-player field.

The first seed, Carlos Alcaraz, will be keeping an eye on the clash between Emil Ruusuvuori and Ugo Humbert, the winner of which will be his first opponent, given the bye to the second round granted by his seeding. Both the Fin, No.40 ATP, and the Frenchman, currently number 72 in the world, are bidding to progress from the opening round of the MMOPEN for the first time. Whoever does so will be rewarded with a match against the defending champion.

Another of the biggest attractions in the opening round will see Roberto Carballés cross swords with David Goffin. The Spanish world number 53 will have to overcome the quality of the Belgian if he is to reach round two of the Masters 1000 in the Spanish capital for the first time. There, he would meet two-time champion Alexander Zverev (2018 and 2021). The world No. 99’s CV includes a quarter-final on the Madrid clay (2017) with seven participations to his name.

The clash of generations at this year’s Mutua Madrid Open will see Martín Landaluce take on Richard Gasquet. At 17 years of age, the tournament wild card, who participated in the draw, will put the experience of the 36-year-old Frenchman to the test. The current junior world No. 1 will challenge the holder of that position in 2002, the winner will cross paths with Polish tenth seed Hubert Hurkacz.

Dominic Thiem and Kyle Edmund are sure to entertain the Madrid fans as they battle it out with a match against Stefanos Tsitsipas at stake. The Austrian, a two-time finalist at the MMOPEN (2017 and 2018), is looking to rediscover his form after a wrist injury at a Caja Mágica in which he has reached the semi-finals four times in five attempts. For his part, the Brit also has experience at the sharp end of the tournament after reaching the quarters in 2018, when he managed to beat Novak Djokovic in the second round.

The recent champion of the ATP 250 in Banja Luka, Dusan Lajovic, is sure to be a player to watch in Madrid. In the first round he clashes with Jason Kubler. The Brisbane native is making his first appearance at the biggest tournament on Spanish soil. His Serbian opponent, though, has played in a quarter-final on the Madrid clay. With wins last week over Novak Djokovic and Andrey Rublev, the new member of the Top 40 could go on to face seventh seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.