Day 3 of the ATP Madrid Open features a mix of both first and second round matches including the likes of former finalist Kei Nishikori and Italian top tenner Matteo Berrettini.
We also predict the rest of the day’s matches, in three other articles. On features Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Casper Ruud, the second highlights Alexander Bublik vs Denis Shapovalov, and the third features Alex De Minaur vs Lloyd Harris.
ATP Madrid Open Day 3 Predictions
Taylor Fritz vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas
Head-to-head: Fritz 2-0
You can more or less throw the head-to-head out the window with both meetings being on hard courts. When it comes to the clay, Ramos-Vinolas is an entirely different player as highlighted by his recent form. He won the title last week in Estoril, and two more semifinals plus another final this season. On a typical clay court there’s no doubt the Spaniard would win this. He would simply get enough of Fritz’s serves back to then dictate the backhand in rallies. In Madrid however, due to the altitude you’re more rewarded with aggressive tennis than on other clay courts which is why Fritz needs to use that to his advantage and hope the 33 year old is a bit fatigued after his title run last week.
Prediction: Ramos-Vinolas in 3
Hubert Hurkacz vs John Millman
Head-to-head: Millman 1-0
It’s still somewhat hard to believe that Hurkacz won the Miami Masters title. Since then, in the only event he’s played he’s been routed by Daniel Evans 6-4 6-1, so he’ll be looking to solidify his Miami title win with a good run here. Thankfully for the 24 year old his opponent Millman has lost 10 of his 16 matches this season and has yet to win back-to-back completed matches on this surface this year despite this being his fifth event. Safe to say Hurkacz is a heavy favorite here.
Prediction: Hurkacz in 2
Fabio Fognini vs Matteo Berrettini
Head-to-head: Fognini 1-0
Despite the older of the two Italians leading the head-to-head, it really doesn’t mean anything as it was back in 2017 when Fognini was a better player and Berrettini a worse one. With the 25-year-old now in the Top 10 and coming off a title in Belgrade, the two couldn’t be more different with Fognini losing his first round match in Marbella, losing easily in the Monte-Carlo quarterfinals, and then being defaulted in Barcelona. Safe to say it’s hard to see Fognini winning this one.
Prediction: Berrettini in 2
Karen Khachanov vs Kei Nishikori
Safe to say a few years ago this would have been somewhat of a blockbuster match. Now in 2021 both have dropped down the rankings for various reasons. The two have never played on clay before so we could be for an interesting matchup. Whilst Nishikori has only won three matches in a row once since July 2019, there’s no doubt he’s slowly getting back to the level he was at a few years ago, as he highlighted taking the second set vs Nadal in Barcelona a few weeks ago. With the Russian, it’s not like that though, in his last five events on tour he hasn’t won back-to-back matches–losing to the likes of world #287 Matthew Ebden. I can see Nishikori only getting better and winning this without too much fuss.
Prediction: Nishikori in 2
Main Photo from Getty.