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Alcaraz top seed in Madrid draw that is without Djokovic, Nadal, and Sinner

The draw ceremony for the 2023 Mutua Madrid Open, the second of three clay-court Masters 1000 events, was conducted on Sunday evening. It is a draw without Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, and even Jannik Sinner recently withdrew. Nonetheless, an impressive field remains–including Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Andrey Rublev.

Alcaraz defended his Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell title this past weekend and will try to do the same at the Madrid Masters. The world No. 2 knocked off Nadal, Djokovic, and Alexander Zverev en route to last year’s trophy. Nadal and Djokovic aren’t in his way this year, as Nadal is still dealing with his hip issue and Djokovic has been struggling with an arm problem. Still, Alcaraz could meet Zverev in the fourth round and a red-hot Rublev is a potential quarterfinal foe.

Also in the top half of the draw are Casper Ruud and Holger Rune. They could face each other in the last eight in what would be a rematch of a contentious 2022 Roland Garros quarterfinal showdown. Rune is coming off a runner-up showing at the Monte-Carlo Masters 1000 (lost to Rublev) and a title in Munich (d. Botic van de Zandschulp).

Another Alcaraz vs. Tsitsipas final is possible after they just battled for the Barcelona title this past Sunday. Tsitsipas landed in the bottom half of the bracket and the Greek could run into Tommy Paul in round four and either Felix Auger-Aliassime or Frances Tiafoe in the QFs. Meanwhile, Medvedev may have to play Andy Murray right off the bat and perhaps an in-form Taylor Fritz in the quarters.

First-round matches to watch are Stan Wawrinka vs. Maxime Cressy, Emil Ruusuvuori vs. Ugo Humbert, and Dominic Thiem vs. Kyle Edmund.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.