What a story this is. Eleven days after meeting in the final qualifying round for the ATP 1000 in Madrid, Aslan Karatsev and Jan-Lennard Struff are going to play in the semifinals of the very same event. Who do you think will make the final?
ATP Madrid Semifinal Prediction
Aslan Karatsev vs Jan-Lennard Struff
Head-to-head: Karatsev 1-0
We all know Aslan Karatsev has a crazy peak, but the Russian hadn’t really shown it since Sydney at the beginning of 2022. Down to World No. 121 prior to this week, the 29-year-old was in danger of having to seek points mostly on the Challenger Tour again (barring an unexpected wildcard, he’ll still have to qualify for the French Open in a couple of weeks). But in true Karatsev fashion, he turned it on and has only dropped one set in seven matches so far.
After Jan-Lennard Struff’s 2022 campaign, which was hampered by a foot injury and didn’t really improve that much once he was healthy, it seemed unlikely that the German would ever return to his prime. But he’s there and it might be the best season of his career already with a quarterfinal in Monte Carlo and the semifinals here. The 33-year-old survived some crazy matches on the way to the final four, including a tight clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas on Thursday.
As aforementioned, Karatsev took out Struff in the final qualifying round in this event, but the German was able to snatch a lucky loser spot. It wasn’t a great match from him and he definitely showed some dips in motivation. However, what Karatsev has been insane at in the past few rounds is completely dominating his opponents, even those who possess plenty of power themselves. Zhizhen Zhang, for example, managed just 9 winners to the Russian’s 30 in their match. If the 29-year-old can keep neutralizing his rivals this way, he should be the one to make his way into the final.
Prediction: Karatsev in 3
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