Five-time champion and “King of Clay” Rafael Nadal will make his 2021 debut at the ATP Madrid Open on Wednesday. We predict that match, along with every other match on the day’s schedule, across two other articles. One features Alexander Zverev vs Kei Nishikori and the other features Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Benoit Paire.
ATP Madrid Open Day 4 Predictions
Jannik Sinner vs Alexei Popyrin
This should be an incredible battle between two rising stars in the game. I expect this to be a battle in the latter rounds of Grand Slams someday. This, though, is just their first meeting. At the age of 19, Sinner is already a top player, especially on clay. Popyrin, meanwhile, has recently broken into the Top 100, and he just won his first title earlier this year. Someday this will be an incredible matchup. Right now, though, it’s advantage Sinner.
Prediction: Sinner in 2
Casper Ruud vs Yoshihito Nishioka
Nishioka took full advantage of being a lucky loser, pulling off an impressive upset of Filip Krajinovic in the first round. Cameron Norrie‘s withdrawal has been a blessing for the Japanese player. Unfortunately, taking out Ruud is a much taller order than Krajinovic. As long as the Norwegian plays well, he wins without trouble.
Prediction: Ruud in 2
Rafael Nadal vs Carlos Alcaraz
Many are already billing Alcaraz as the potential successor to Nadal. While that might be premature, Alcaraz definitely looks like the next great Spanish player. Of course, Nadal is still the current great Spaniard, and he’s the best on the world on this surface. Nadal won the title in Barcelona two weeks ago, and he looks in pretty good form on the clay, despite some questions. Alcaraz may challenge for the title of top Spaniard someday, but that day isn’t here yet.
Prediction: Nadal in 3
Main Photo from Getty.