The once 96-man draw at the Mutua Madrid Open is down to six as we look ahead to the final two ATP quarterfinal matches on Thursday. Despite Thursday’s action featuring three unseeded players, I expect the level of tennis to remain very high. Zhizhen Zhang and Aslan Karatsev will square off in both players’ first Masters quarterfinal appearance. The match of the day takes place between 2019 runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas and Jan-Lennard Struff. We at LWOT have the preview and prediction for both matches, as well as Wednesday’s two matches. But who will advance?
ATP Quarterfinal Predictions
Zhizhen Zhang vs Aslan Karatsev
Head-to-Head: Zhang 1-0 Karatsev
Zhizhen Zhang is amidst a historic week that has seen him become the first Chinese man to reach a Masters 1000 quarterfinal. The 26-year-old has played phenomenal tennis this week, stringing together wins over Denis Shapovalov, Cameron Norrie, and Taylor Fritz. He came from a set down to win all three of those matches, making this run even more unbelievable. Zhang squares off against Aslan Karatsev in the Madrid quarterfinals. Karatsev has revived his game over the last few weeks and had to advance through two qualifying rounds to make the main draw in Madrid. This week, he has beaten Botic van de Zandschulp, Alex de Minaur, and Daniil Medvedev. Something must give when these two in-form players square off. I give a slight advantage to Zhang. His forehand has been all-worldly, and he has shown the fortitude to dig deep to overcome deficits.
Prediction: Zhang in 3
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Jan-Lennard Struff
Head-to-Head: Tsitsipas 3-2 Struff
Stefanos Tsitsipas has a strong history in Madrid. The current world No. 5 holds a career record of 11-4 at the Mutua Madrid Open and is on the brink of reaching the semifinals for the third time. That said, something is to be desired as the Greek has never won the event. Tsitsipas will take on German lucky loser Jan-Lennard Struff in the quarterfinals. Despite not facing a top-35 player this week, Struff finds himself in back-to-back Masters quarterfinals after reaching one in his previous 41 appearances. The altitude of Madrid has allowed the German to rely on his powerful serve and groundstrokes to bully his opponents off the court. Unfortunately for Struff, Tsitsipas is too good of a defender to allow himself to be pushed around on the clay. We may see a tiebreak in this match, but I expect the Greek to advance in straights.
Prediction: Tsitsipas in 2
Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports
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