Alcaraz vs Struff preview: Madrid Open Final
The 20-year-old Spanish tennis player faces the German, 33 years old and ranked 65th, in the final in Madrid, starting at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Twenty-year-old Spanish tennis sensation, Carlos Alcaraz, prepares to take on 33-year-old German veteran, Jan-Lennard Struff, ranked 65th, in the final of the Mutua Madrid Open (Sunday, May 7, 12:30 p.m. ET).
A victory would see Alcaraz claim the lead in the race to the ATP Finals, and position him within striking distance of the world number one spot.
Despite being only 20, Alcaraz shows no signs of slowing down his relentless pursuit of victory. A win in Madrid would mark his tenth title, fourth Masters 1000, and fourth this year after Buenos Aires, Indian Wells, and Barcelona.
Winning in Madrid would land him a triple prize, consisting of a second trophy in the capital, taking the lead in the race to the ATP Finals (surpassing Daniil Medvedev), and putting the number one ranking just one match away in Rome.
Why one match in Rome? Because a victory in the Caja Mágica in Madrid would leave Alcaraz five points behind Djokovic, so by appearing on the center court of the Foro Itálico on Friday or Saturday of next week, he would pick up 10, which would be enough to unseat the Serbian, who was champion there and cannot score.
Struff facing an uphill battle
The stats and the actual tennis are both on Alcaraz’s side. It seems hard to imagine that Struff could beat him, despite the fact he has managed it once. When he’s in solid physical and mental condition, the Spaniard is almost invincible, because he just has so many skills in his tennis locker.
Alcaraz acknowledges the growing respect from his fellow players and people on the circuit, but he remains humble: “I try to think of myself and do my best, but I don’t feel superior to anyone. Struff deserves to be there. Just because I’m number two doesn’t mean I’m going to win the final. We are going to be focused, without taking anything for granted.”
Alcaraz in Masters finals
The prodigy from El Palmar in Murcia emphasizes the importance of concentration and maintaining focus throughout the match. He aims to win his fourth Masters 1000 trophy in as many finals, surpassing Nicolay Davydenko’s record. Among the 23 champions in this category since 1990, only four have started with at least three wins without a loss: Davydenko (3-0), Alcaraz (3-0), Jim Courier (5-0), and Michael Chang (5-0). The future of tennis is in his capable hands.