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Ricky’s picks for Tuesday in Madrid, including Alcaraz vs. Zverev

The entire fourth round of the men’s singles draw at the Mutua Madrid Open will be played on Tuesday. A blockbuster matchup pits Carlos Alcaraz against Alexander Zverev, while Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov are also taking the court.

Here are my previews and picks for those two matchups.

(1) Carlos Alcaraz vs. (13) Alexander Zverev

This is a rematch of last year’s Madrid final. Alcaraz’s amazing run to the winner’s trophy featured consecutive wins over Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic before he thrashed Zverev 6-3, 6-1 in the final.

However, it hasn’t always been one-way traffic for Alcaraz against Zverev. In fact, that Madrid result is his only win in four tries against the German. Zverev won twice during the 2021 campaign and he avenged the Madrid loss by defeating Alcaraz 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(7) in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros. Of course, Zverev got injured in his next match against Nadal and has not been the same since. The world No. 16 is finally picking up some momentum, but nothing suggests that he is close to Alcaraz’s level at the moment.

Pick: Alcaraz in 2

(10) Karen Khachanov vs. (5) Andrey Rublev

Rublev and Khachanov just faced each other at a Masters 1000 — in Monte-Carlo a couple of weeks ago. That was also in the round of 16, and Rublev emerged victorious via a 7-6(4), 6-2 decision.

Rublev parlayed that victory over his doubles partner into the eventual title–the biggest of his career to date. He hasn’t looked back, either. Rublev was runner-up in Banja Luka one week later and so far at the Madrid Masters he has ousted Stan Wawrinka and Yoshihito Nishioka in mostly routine straight sets. Khachanov, by contrast, needed three sets to get past both Thiago Monteiro and Roberto Bautista Agut. Just as it was in Monte-Carlo, a big win for Rublev is likely in the cards for Madrid.

Pick: Rublev in 2

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