2024 ATP Madrid Open preview

SPANISH star Carlos Alcaraz returns to his home country to defend his 2023 ATP Madrid Open title when the 1000 Masters tournament begins tomorrow. The second seed defeated German Jan-Lennard Struff in the final last season, while this tournament also marks the return of Rafael Nadal back to the event as some of the best clay courters converge on Spain.


As mentioned, Alcaraz defeated Struff, with the German a shock finalist coming from a lucky loser spot, but showed he deserved to be there, as he pushed the the young gun to three sets. Alcaraz was the defending champion and won what was his fourth title of 2023 at the time, and 10th of his career. Now heading into 2024, he will be shooting for a three-peat of trophies.


The lead-up tournament in Barcelona saw Norwegian Casper Ruud take out the ATP 500 trophy in straight sets over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final, 7-5 6-3 as both had the perfect lead-up to Madrid. Unseeded Serbian Dusan Lajovic and 13th seed Tomas Etcheverry made the semi-finals, as Alcaraz was a late withdrawal as top seed. In Bucharest, Hungarian Marton Fucsovics won the ATP 250 event, while in Munich, Struff sensationally won his first career title at 34, taking down Taylor Fritz in the final after defeating Holger Rune in the semi-finals.

2024 DRAW

With no Novak Djokovic in the draw, Italian star Jannik Sinner headlines the first quarter as top seed. He likely has a second round date with compatriot Lorenzo Sonego, while drawing hte likes of Jordan Thompson and then Russian Karen Khachanov in subsequent rounds. The bottom half f the quarter is fairly stacked with in-form duo Ruud and Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov potential fourth round opponents, with young guns Joao Fonseca and Jakub Mensik also in the quarter.

Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev eye each other off at each side of the second quarter, though Medvedev has always struggled on clay. He could have improving Italian Matteo Arnaldi or solid Aussie Christopher O’Connell in the second round, with the likes of Sebastian Korda, Alexander Bublik and Ben Shelton all there. Nadal finds himself in Tsitsipas’ eighth, but also takes on 16-year-old Darwin Blanch first up before facing Aussie 10th seed Alex de Minaur, who knocked him out in Barcelona. Tsitsipas has a soft draw until he likely faces de Minaur in the fourth round, though Lajovic showed talent on clay last tournament and is not an easy second round opponent.

The third quarter is the weakest of the four, with Alexander Zverev and Hubert Hurkacz the two main seeds. Marozan and Fritz both reached finals in their respective ATP 250 tournaments last week, while there are some quality clay courters such as Etcheverry, Francisco Cerundolo and Sebastian Baez in the quarter. Frenchman Arthur Fils is now seeded at 31 after some strong recent form, while Brit, Jack Draper will likely face Hurkacz in the second round, and last year’s semi-finalist Borna Coric is in line to take on Zverev if the Croatian defeats his first round qualifying opponent.

In the last quarter of the draw, Alcaraz will take on either Alexander Shevchenko and Arthur Rinderknech in the second round, while ItalianLorenzo Musetti is a potential third round opponent. Struff also finds himself in-line to meet him at some stage if he can get there with Ugo Humbert also in his section. Rune and Andrey Rublev are the highest ranked players in the top half of the quarter, while Chinese teenager Juncheng Shang and Argentinian Mariano Navone – who is coming off a finals appearance in Bucharest – are other threats.


The stage is set for a potential Sinner-Alcaraz rematch, one we will see frequently over the next decade. The big threats are Ruud and Rune, but they will need to be at their best. Nadal would be a fairytale winner, but just needs more court time under his belt, and copping de Minaur in the second round is rough.

Winner: Carlos Alcaraz (Spain)

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