Madrid Open Betting Tips: Nadal the man to beat
The French Open starts at the end of the month but before the year’s second grand slam gets under way there are back-to-back Masters 1000 events in Madrid and Rome.
The Madrid Open was cancelled last year because of the Covid pandemic and with Novak Djokovic deciding not to defend his title, Rafael Nadal is the clear favourite at 11/10 to win the event for a sixth time and the fifth on clay.
There is British interest, too, with Dan Evans hoping to follow up his superb run to the semi-finals at Monte Carlo priced as a 125/1 outsider while Cam Norrie is even bigger at 150/1 despite reaching the final at Estoril on Sunday which he lost in three sets to Albert Ramos Vinolas.
Nadal is the man to beat, though, and we take a look at his chances and those of his main rivals with our Madrid Open betting tips.
Home comfort for Rafa?
Nadal has already enjoyed a good build-up to his campaign to win the French Open for a record-extending 14 times by winning in Barcelona for a 61st clay-court title.
However, the 20-time grand slam champion, who turns 35 next month, lost to Andrey Rublev in Monte Carlo and his performances in the early rounds in Barcelona suggest he may not have it all his own way at a tournament where he is also a three-time beaten finalist.
Greek star the main challenger
Stefanos Tsitsipas has made a sensational start to the clay season, beating Rublev to win his first Masters 1000 tournament at Monte Carlo which he later considered as “the best week of my life so far”.
A week later he was match point away from defeating Nadal in the Barcelona final, so his confidence is high as he looks to add a third clay title to his name.
The world number five lost to Djokovic in the 2019 final having beaten Nadal in the last four and is priced at 3/1 to go one better this time around bearing in mind he is in the opposite half of the draw to the favourite.
Russian on the rise
Of the outsiders, sixth seed Rublev is one to consider at 18/1 having edged a three-set battle with Nadal just over a couple of weeks ago.
The 23-year-old Russian won an incredible five tournaments in a curtailed 2020 season, including the clay-court event in Hamburg, and his early-season form makes him one to watch for a maiden Masters 1000 crown.
Zverev seeks 2018 repeat
Alexander Zverev was hampered by an elbow injury at last month’s Monte Carlo Masters where he lost to David Goffin in the round of 16, so with more than a fortnight’s rest the German could go far this week.
Zverev has an excellent 10-2 record in Madrid where he did not drop a set in winning the 2018 edition, beating Dominic Thiem in the final.
The German is scheduled to meet Nadal in the quarter-finals and although he has never beaten the ‘King of Clay’ on the red dirt, he has won their last two meetings.
Now over his elbow problem, we go 25/1 on Zverev to make it six clay-court titles.