The Madrid Open, a cornerstone of the clay court season, is set to unfold from April 23 to May 5. This event will draw some of the finest players in the world to the Spanish capital, including Jannik Sinner, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud and Daniil Medvedev.

Novak Djokovic has opted to skip the Madrid Open after recent setbacks which saw the 36-year-old struggling with his form. Following a defeat by Jannik Sinner at the Australian Open and subsequent losses at the Masters, he shifted his focus towards the Grand Slams and the 2024 Olympics. 

Rafa Nadal, perennially battling injuries, is nonetheless expected to grace the Madrid courts. With a record of five titles at this tournament, Nadal’s presence electrifies the draw, although his recent form makes it challenging to peg him as the front-runner this time around.

Carlos Alcaraz missed the previous two tournaments due to an arm injury, and his participation in this year’s edition remains a question mark. However, if he does make it, Alcaraz’s explosive play and home-court advantage position him as one of the main contenders for the title.

Turning to the women’s draw, Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka are tipped as the main favourites for the title. World No.5 Jessica Pegula has unfortunately announced her withdrawal due to injury, narrowing the field of competition.

Below, we will discuss the main favourites and assess their prospects of triumphing in Madrid. 

Tournament Info

Men’s Prediction, Odds

Despite criticism and heightened expectations, Stefanos Tsitsipas clinched the Monte-Carlo Masters after defeating four elite players on his way. The Greek overcame Alexander Zverev, Karen Khachanov, and Jannik Sinner and sealed his triumph over Casper Ruud in the final.

However, the tables turned at the Barcelona Open, where Tsitsipas and Ruud faced off once again in the final, with Ruud claiming victory this time. Tsitsipas’ form, when on point, makes him one of the main favourites in any tournament. 

Jannik Sinner will also return from his hiatus. The Italian has had an exhilarating season so far and he will surely be one of the main contenders in Madrid. Although clay is not his preferred surface, he remains a significant threat to any opponent with his current form. 

We could also never write Daniil Medvedev off. The Russian, traditionally not a clay-court aficionado, has nonetheless shown flashes of potential on this challenging surface. Despite this, I think reaching the final will be a tall order for him. 

The participation of Carlos Alcaraz in Madrid hangs in the balance. When healthy and fit, the Spaniard can produce a high-level performance against any opponent. Alcaraz’s readiness to compete could very well position him as a dark horse in the tournament, ready to challenge any adversary.

Women’s Prediction, Odds

The Madrid Open will see a robust lineup of WTA players in action, with Jessica Pegula as a notable absence. The rest of the top-tier competitors, including Iga Świątek, Aryna Sabalenka, Coco Gauff and the newly crowned Stuttgart champion Elena Rybakina, will be present and set the stage for intense matchups.

Last season, Sabalenka beat Świątek in the final, but will she be able to pull that off again?  This year, with Świątek and Sabalenka seeded first and second, respectively, the dynamics are ripe for another electrifying encounter.

Świątek, currently the leader in the race, lost to Rybakina in the semi-finals in Stuttgart. In Madrid, she faces a challenging draw. She could meet Sorana Cîrstea in the third round, followed by potential clashes with Elina Svitolina or Victoria Azarenka, and possibly Beatrice Haddad Maia or Maria Sakkari in the quarterfinals.

The next quarter of the draw hints at a possible showdown between Coco Gauff and Ons Jabeur for a spot in the semifinals. However, both players are grappling with less-than-ideal form, which might complicate their path to the quarterfinals. 

Gauff’s part of the draw features formidable talents like Liudmila Samsonova, Naomi Osaka and Madison Keys. Ons Jabeur also faces challenging opponents in the form of  Alena Ostapenko, Veronika Kudermetova, Anastasia Potapova and Emma Raducanu, who has been gaining momentum recently.

Predicting outcomes in WTA tournaments can be as challenging as returning a top spinner on match point. However, I think that Iga Świątek, with her exceptional talent and recent form, is one of the main favourites to clinch the title. If she brings her best game, Świątek has the tools to outplay any opponent in the field and possibly secure the Madrid title.