Jabeur vs. Pegula for the history of African tennis

After a historic day like that of Friday, May 6, in which Carlos Alcaraz he became the first teenager capable of beating Rafa Nadal on clay, another is coming soon. ATP number 1 Novak Djokovic and Alcaraz himself compete for the first time at the Mutua Madrid Open (in the field at 4:00 p.m.), that this position seems destined to occupy him one day. Precisely for this reason, not only is a place in the final of the second ‘Mile’ on clay in 2022 at stake, but the match acquires a symbolic meaning that should not be underestimated. Nadal tried to curb the overwhelming power of the young compatriot. He did it with enormous effort in Indian Wells (he ended up getting injured and out for two months), but gave in on his beloved clay, in Madrid, where twelve months ago he won his first match against Alcaraz 6-16. -two. . Novak Djokovic represents the last bastion of the Big Threethe last barrier that Alcaraz will have to cross to get even closer to the top.

Meanwhile, there’s your the numbers. He is the youngest semifinalist in the Madrid tournament and could set the same record in the event of a final. He could also become the second youngest player to beat Djokovic (behind Krajinovic at 18, but 22 years ago) and also the youngest to beat an ATP No. 1 since 2005. Back then it was Nadal, in his 19th birthday, and Alcaraz him. he blew 19 candles two days ago to overtake Federer, but he did it at Roland Garros, in the semifinals.

As for the challenges with the two holy monsters, we know at the moment There are only 11 players who in their career have beaten both Djokovic and Nadal in the same tournament. Fewer have accomplished the feat on two consecutive days: Federer at the 2010 ATP Finals, Davydenko at the 2009 Shanghai Masters, Roddick at Dubai 2008 and David Nalbandian in Madrid 2007, on the hard. The latter did even better on that occasion, because after eliminating Nadal in the quarters (6-1 6-2) and Djokovic in the semifinals (6-4 7-6), he also managed to overtake Federer in the last act, 1 – 6 6-3 6-3, lining up all the Big Three. Alcaraz will not be able to repeat this result, since Roger is absent in Madrid, but the hypothesis that he can crown his career with a title is quite concrete.

On the other side of the net, a Nole Djokovic will try to resist his attacks. The victory over Hurkacz gave him access to the 72nd Masters 1000 semi-final, approaching Nadal’s record (76), who did not respond in the afternoon at the Caja Mágica. He could reach the final of the ‘Mil’ number 55 (moving to +2 over Rafa).

As for the very interesting duel with Alcaraz (seen so far only in training), the ATP website offers an interesting statistic that highlights Djokovic’s propensity to attack: plays 28% of his shots from an offensive position (highest figure among the four semi-finalists), achieving an excellent 73% conversion rate from these game situations. Alcaraz, for his part, is among the four who are still in the race the one who most effectively manages to win a point in a defensive situation. It does 43% of the time.

Bookmakers identify Djokovic as the favorite for the challenge. The Serb’s win is given at 1.75 on bet365, not too different from 1.73 on SNAI, while it drops to 1.65 on Fastbet. Alcaraz’s victory pays just over double the bet: 2.10 at bet365 and Sisal, 2.05 at SNAI.

ZVEREV-TSITSIPAS – Alcaraz is only surpassed by one player for the number of wins in 2022: Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Greek will be the protagonist in the second semi-final, in the afternoon session, against Alexander Zverev. Tsitsipas, as I said, leads the ranking of season wins, 27 in total, +1 over Alcaraz which, however, has already inflicted two defeats on him this year. The Greek reaches his tenth Masters 1000 semifinal as the winner of the Monte Carlo tournament, while Zverev – in search of the tenth final of the category – is the current champion. It was in Monte Carlo where the two met for the tenth time in the semifinals and the match disappointed expectations. Tsitsipas won very quickly and then tamed Davidovich Fokina in the last act.

This time it will probably be a much tighter match.. The playing conditions – very different from those of Monte Carlo where the game is played facing the sea – make Zverev’s serve travel much more, who in general always seems to arrive in excellent shape in Madrid. In addition to the title he won a year ago against Berrettini in the final, he also won it here in 2018: he won two of his five ‘Mille’ titles at the Caja Mágica. It could be said that Madrid is to Zverev as Monte Carlo is to Tsitsipas. The Greek still boasts of a final played at the Mutua Madrid Open, lost in 2019 by Djokovic the day after he brilliantly beat Nadal in the semifinals.

The odds of the match are quite similar to those of the first semi-final. According to Tsitsipas experts is the favourite, at 1.65 at bet365 and Planetwin. Zverev’s win, on the other hand, ranges from 2.25 on Planet to 2.20 on bet365 and SNAI.

The men’s draw of the Madrid tournament

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