Carlos Alcaraz vs Borna Coric
Time: 7:30 PM IST
Carlos Alcaraz, the immensely talented Spanish tennis player, celebrated his twentieth birthday with a victory against Karen Khachanov during the quarterfinals. Although he faced a challenging situation in the second set, trailing 1-4 with a score of 40*-A, he made a comeback and won the match in straight sets, 6-4 7-5. With this win, Alcaraz achieved his 36th victory at the Masters level, becoming the second teenager with the most wins at this level after his idol, Rafael Nadal, who has 53 wins.
Alcaraz has made it to the semifinals for the sixth time this season and has advanced to the finals on four occasions, except for the Miami Masters, where he lost to Jannik Sinner due to physical discomfort. If he wins the title at the Madrid Masters this week and participates in the Rome Masters next week, he can surpass Novak Djokovic in the ATP rankings and reclaim the top spot.
The reigning Indian Wells Masters champion is the clear favorite to win the Madrid Masters title, as he has won his last three home tournaments on Spanish soil, including the Barcelona and Madrid Masters in 2022, as well as the Barcelona tournament in 2023.
Before his quarterfinal match against Daniel Altmaier, Borna Coric’s recovery from his strenuous three-set match against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the previous round was a concern. However, Coric dominated the German lucky loser, winning 6-3 6-3, and proved that he had recuperated well.
Coric has a history of engaging in grueling physical battles at the highest level of tennis, as evidenced by his impressive record of 11-20 against top-5 players. Despite never being ranked within the top 10, he defeated Rafael Nadal, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Roberto Bautista Agut, Cameron Norrie, and Stefanos Tsitsipas to lift his maiden (and only) Masters title less than ten months ago at Cincinnati Masters. Interestingly, the last time he defeated a player ranked as high as #2 was in the semifinals of the Masters tournament in Shanghai five years ago, where he beat Roger Federer in straight sets but lost to Novak Djokovic in the title match.
Carlos Alcaraz is a dominant force on the current tennis tour, especially on clay courts, and is considered a favorite to win every match he plays. However, in the quarterfinals against Karen Khachanov, Alcaraz was fortunate that his opponent missed several key chances. As he heads into his next match against Borna Coric, Alcaraz must maintain a high level of performance, as Coric is a skilled player who can capitalize on any opportunities that arise.
Prediction: Back over 20.5 games