We have quite an unexpected final at the ATP Madrid Masters–well, half of it is very unexpected, at least. Carlos Alcaraz–the best player in the world, save perhaps Novak Djokovic and a healthy Rafael Nadal–reached the final, as expected. He surprisingly dropped his first set of the tournament to Emil Ruusuvuouri, but has won ten straight since. Jan-Lennard Struff, meanwhile, entered the main draw as a lucky loser (and remember, with a 96-player draw, lucky losers are even lower-ranked than usual). He has three comeback victories in the process of this event, and a stunning upset of Stefanos Tsitsipas. Can he pull off one more?
ATP Madrid Final Prediction
Carlos Alcaraz vs Jan-Lennard Struff
Quite honestly, it doesn’t seem fair to expect this to be close. Alcaraz is a better player, especially on clay. Struff, meanwhile, is in the biggest match of his life–the German has never been in a situation anything at all like this. In fact, Struff has never been in any Tour-level final in his career, let alone a Masters final against one of the elites of the game.
Fans deserve a great match, but it’s hard to imagine it’s likely. The Spaniard is just plain better, and he’s much more used to occasions like this. Even if Struff plays as well as he’s played the rest of this tournament so far, it would still take a near-miracle for him to upset Alcaraz. Expect the Spaniard to defend his title, and move very close to re-taking the World #1 ranking.
Prediction: Alcaraz in 2
Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports