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Tuesday’s play at the Mutua Madrid Open includes the conclusion of the opening round and the start of the second round in the men’s singles draw. Top seed Novak Djokovic faces Gael Monfils in one of the highlights on Manolo Santana Stadium, with Carlos Alcaraz closing play on centre court against Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Sixth seed Andrey Rublev takes on British wild card Jack Draper earlier in the day in the third men’s match on the show court, while Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov headline the men’s action on Aranxta Sanchez Stadium.

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[1] Novak Djokovic (SER) vs. Gael Monfils (FRA)

Monfils has never beaten Djokovic in 17 previous ATP Head2Head meetings. But with Djokovic admittedly not at top form, this could be the Frenchman’s best chance to get his first victory against the Serb.

“I’m still finding the form. I’m not playing at the desired level,” Djokovic said ahead of the Madrid ATP Masters 1000 event. “But I am getting there. It’s a process and I have to be patient and believe that I am on the right track, which I feel I am.”

Monfils is also seeking a return to form. After reaching the Australian Open quarter-finals at the start of the season, he has played only three events since. He withdrew from Monte Carlo with a foot injury, and won his first clay match of the season on Monday against Spanish qualifier Carlos Gimeno Valero.

“I am getting my rhythm back as well and it is funny because he is too, but has more matches on clay than me,” Monfils said. “I will try and make good decisions on the court, to try and beat him.”

[7] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) vs. Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO)

Barcelona champion Alcaraz begins his quest for a home-nation double as he returns to the Spanish clay for the second straight event. Now at a career-high of World No. 9, the 18-year-old will seek a repeat performance from his 2021 Roland Garros meeting with Nikoloz Basilashvili, when he advanced in straight sets.

Basilashvili, who entered Madrid at No. 27 in the ATP Rankings, reached the Doha final in February but has not been able to string together consecutive tour-level victories since. After a busy April in which he competed in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Munich, the Georgian is competing for the fourth straight week on the ATP Tour.

Alcaraz earned his first career ATP Masters 1000 win in Madrid last season and recalls coming to the event as a child before competing in an under-12 event at the tournament site.

“It would be a special trophy here. It’s a special tournament, home crowd,” said Alcaraz, a native of Murcia. “We travel around the world during the whole year and playing in Madrid, playing at home is really amazing. The fans here in Spain enjoying watching us play is really important for us.”

[14] Denis Shapovalov vs. [WC] Andy Murray

Shapovalov scored a gutsy win over Ugo Humbert in his first clay match of the 2022 season, saving nine break points in the second set to advance on Monday, including four as he served out the match. The 23-year-old won his only previous ATP Head2Head meeting against Murray in straight sets one year ago in the Wimbledon third round.

Murray was not planning to play on the clay this season, but accepted a Madrid wild card after the hard-court ATP Challenger Tour events on his calendar were cancelled. On Monday, he earned his first clay win since 2017 by beating Dominic Thiem, 6-3, 6-4.

“I enjoyed it. I prepared really hard before coming here,” said Murray. “My body felt really good in the last few weeks and tonight I felt like I moved well and I played a really good match.”

Murray, who is now 8-1 in opening-round matches on the season, will seek to get beyond the second round for the first time since his run to the Sydney final in January.

Best Of The Rest

Rublev and Draper will meet for the first time when they open play on Manolo Santana Stadium. Rublev enters fresh off beating hometown hero Djokovic for the Belgrade title, while Draper earned his way into the second round with an assured win over Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego in his first tour-level event since Miami.

The action on Arantxa Sanchez Stadium includes three Spaniards: Albert Ramos-Vinolas opens play against Marin Cilic before 17th seed Roberto Bautista Agut takes on Jenson Brooksby and 16th seed Pablo Carreno Busta faces Munich finalist Botic van de Zandschulp.

Three intriguing doubles matches are set for Court 5, starting with eighth seeds Jamie Murray and Michael Venus taking on brothers Stefanos Tsitsipas and Petros Tsitsipas. Cameron Norrie and Tommy Paul will face Marcelo Melo and Alexander Zverev before Miami champions Hubert Hurkacz and John Isner take on Karen Khachanov and Rublev for a quarter-final spot.


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