Among the many exciting matchups on Monday’s ATP Madrid Open schedule, one particular clash has been talked about non-stop since the draw came out. Dominic Thiem and Andy Murray are among just eight active Grand Slam champions, and yet they’ll face each other in the first round here. As always, we here at LWOT predict every match for you. We split the 14 matches between four articles. In addition to this article, we have others featuring Diego Schwartzman vs Benoit Paire, Jannik Sinner vs Tommy Paul, and Karen Khachanov vs Lucas Pouille. Who do you think will prevail?
ATP Madrid Day 2 Predictions
Aslan Karatsev vs David Goffin
Head-to-head: First meeting
Aslan Karatsev kicked off his season beautifully with a title at Sydney, but the Russian has really dropped off ever since. In his last ten matches, he’s only won two. His game is very reliant on rhythm too, often resulting in huge numbers of unforced errors when he’s not in the best shape. Meanwhile, David Goffin is finally on an upward trajectory. The Belgian took the title at Marrakech and keeps playing very well on the dirt.
Goffin defeated Jiri Vesely and Alejandro Tabilo in the qualifying campaign, which will give him plenty of extra time to get used to the courts compared to Karatsev. The faster conditions in Madrid could suit the Russian though, but with how low he is on his confidence right now and the Belgian’s sudden resurgence, Goffin has to be considered the favorite of this clash.
Prediction: Goffin in 2
Lloyd Harris vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
Head-to-head: Harris 1-0
Lloyd Harris won their only previous meeting at Indian Wells last year, but the surface should matter a lot in this matchup. The South African is also not playing nearly as well as in his 2021 campaign and even then, he didn’t fare that well on clay courts. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina also had a poor start to the season, but the win against Novak Djokovic at Monte Carlo seems to have flipped a switch in the Spaniard’s game and mindset. Even though players like Harris usually find the courts at Madrid quite to their liking (compared to other clay events), Davidovich Fokina should maintain his winning run, especially with the help of the crowd.
Prediction: Davidovich Fokina in 3
Andy Murray vs Dominic Thiem
It’s tough to evaluate whether the draw gods were kind or cruel here. Andy Murray hasn’t played a match on clay since getting demolished by Stan Wawrinka at the 2020 French Open. Meanwhile, Dominic Thiem is desperately trying to snap his seven-match losing streak. The Austrian seems to be getting there and even in his most recent loss to Benjamin Bonzi at Estoril, he’s shown definite signs of slowly regaining his rhythm from the baseline. He’s much more of a certainty on the dirt than Murray, who initially planned to skip this part of the season altogether.
Prediction: Thiem in 3
Main Photo from Getty.