ATP Madrid Open Day 3 Predictions, Including Novak Djokovic vs Gael Monfils

Novak Djokovic in action at the ATP Belgrade Open.
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Day 3 of the ATP Madrid Masters 1000 features the World #1, after an exciting Day 2 that brought the intriguing and classic matchup of Andy Murray vs Dominic Thiem. An excellent cast of characters competes for the Madrid crown, including the king of clay upon his return. But as for Day 3, who will move on?

ATP Madrid Day 3 Predictions

Marin Cilic vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas

Head-to-head: Cilic 6-3 Ramos-Vinolas

This one is difficult to call. The H2H would suggest Cilic, but only two of those matches were on clay, and they were split. Ramos-Vinolas is known as a clay specialist, but Cilic actually has a higher win percentage on the surface by five points. They have similar records this year, although Cilic started much better than he’s been of late. Cilic has extensive experience at this tournament, and has played decently, while Ramos-Vinolas has a losing record in a number of trips, but has had some good wins. This one could be very close, and I would be inclined to pick Cilic if his play hadn’t dipped recently.
Prediction: Ramos-Vinolas in 3

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Miomir Kecmanovic vs Alexander Bublik

Head-to-head: Kecmanovic 0-1 Bublick

Another very difficult match to call. Bublik’s unpredictability always makes his picks difficult, but this one is risky even without that. Kecmanovic has had an excellent season that sees him at his career high of #32, but Bublik sits just above him at #33. Kecmanovic has ten more wins on the season (though he has played more), but Bublik is the one with a title in 2022. Neither has extensive experience on clay, but Kecmanovic’s win percentage dominates Bublik’s by twelve points—yet the former is 0-1 in Madrid, while the latter is 3-1 including a trip to the quarterfinals last year (that featured three good wins). Bublik is too erratic to pick with confidence, and Kecmanovic is playing pretty well, so the Serb gets the nod.
Prediction: Kecmanovic in 3

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Novak Djokovic vs Gael Monfils

Head-to-head: Djokovic 17-0 Monfils

That H2H is not a misprint. Normally that would be all you need to know to pick Djokovic in two, but this is a different permutation of the world #1. If ever Monfils had an opportunity, it’s now. Monfils had a really good start to the season, then sat out five weeks, so whether that means he’s rested or rusty, I don’t know. All of Djokovic’s last five matches have gone to three sets, and in two of those third sets he has bombed badly (including a recent 0-6 loss to Andrey Rublev). So this match should be a lot closer than previous matchups suggest, and a three-setter with tiebreaks is Monfils’ best bet. But I can’t get past that H2H, even with the questionable version of Djokovic on the court.
Prediction: Djokovic in 2

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