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  • Wednesday'S Tennis Acca: Rafael Nadal To Crush Teenage Dream In Madrid

Wednesday's tennis acca: Rafael Nadal to crush teenage dream in Madrid

Planet Sport presents picks for the first round at the Mutua Madrid Open which gets underway on Wednesday.

Rafael Nadal returns to Madrid after missing the event in 2023 but the occasion might be bigger for the young man he will face.

American wildcard Darwin Blanch found himself drawn against the icon and will get his once-in-a-lifetime moment in Madrid.

Here we make our picks for selected matches in the first round of the Madrid Open.


ATP Madrid Masters: Botic Van De Zandschulp vs Christopher Eubanks | Pick: Van De Zandschulp

ATP Madrid Masters: Darwin Blanch vs Rafael Nadal | Pick: Nadal

ATP Madrid Masters: Facundo Diaz Acosta vs Denis Shapovalov | Pick: Acosta

ATP Madrid Masters: Luciano Darderi vs Gael Monfils | Pick: Monfils

WTA Madrid: Mirra Andreeva vs Taylor Townsend | Pick: Andreeva

WTA Madrid: Shuai Zhang vs Shelby Rogers | Pick: Rogers

WTA Madrid: Sloane Stephens vs Martina Trevisan | Pick: Stephens

WTA Madrid: Yulia Putintseva vs Yue Yuan | Putintseva


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ATP Madrid Masters: Botic Van De Zandschulp vs Christopher Eubanks

Botic Van De Zandschulp has already beaten Christopher Eubanks once this season and meets him on a surface the American has struggled on.

Eubanks has won just six of his 18 matches on clay and has often opted to play less of the swing to be in good shape for the grass season.

Eubanks cannot really dodge Madrid this season as a mandatory event and will need to find a way to win on clay and improve his ranking.

Van De Zandschulp leads the head-to-head against Eubanks thanks to a win in Auckland earlier this season.


ATP Madrid Masters: Darwin Blanch vs Rafael Nadal

Darwin Blanch says that he laughed when he found out that he would be facing Rafael Nadal in the Madrid Open.

Nadal returned to action last week in Barcelona and eased into the second round before being well beaten by a form player on the ATP Tour in Alex de Minaur.

While Nadal's ranking is now No 512, Blanch has yet to earn a single rankings point.

Blanch made his ATP Tour debut at the Miami Masters and suffered a first round loss.


ATP Madrid Masters: Facundo Diaz Acosta vs Denis Shapovalov

Clay maven Facundo Diaz Acosta tackles for top ten star Denis Shapovalov.

The Canadian has lost both of his matches on clay this season while Acosta has a 13-7 record on the surface.

Off the back of a good Golden Triangle swing, Acosta currently sits at a career-high ranking of world No 47.

Denis Shapovalov has the edge in big tournament experience but that could prove to be little help.


ATP Madrid Masters: Luciano Darderi vs Gael Monfils

Luciano Darderi and Gael Monfils share the court for the first time as players split by 15 years in age.

Darderi has won a title on clay already this season but Monfils is finding form.

Monfils can build some momentum ahead of what might be his final French Open.

Darderi will feel that this clay swing might allow him to make a big splash on the ATP Tour.


WTA Madrid: Mirra Andreeva vs Taylor Townsend

Taylor Townsend returns to action for the first time since Charleston against an opponent tipped for a big clay court season.

Mirra Andreeva has started well on the surface winning 43 of her first 52 professional matches on the surface.

Andreeva was a quarter-finalist in Rouen last week and is well into the European season now.

Townsend has traditionally struggled with this portion of the calendar and could be in for a tough battle to start in what will be her first match against Andreeva.


WTA Madrid: Shuai Zhang vs Shelby Rogers

Shelby Rogers and Shuai Zhang split the court for the fourth time in what will be a battle of the veterans.

Both players have battled to maintain a winning record on clay and have failed to match their loss counters in most of their seasons as professionals.

Rogers probably has the game to win this one comfortably but the surface may act as an equaliser.

Zhang's 2-1 head-to-head lead may only serve to motivate Rogers a little bit more.


WTA Madrid: Sloane Stephens vs Martina Trevisan

Sloane Stephens hasn't played a lot on clay in past seasons but she is mo mug having reached the 2018 French Open final.

Stephens and Trevisan have never met in a singles match.

The American won a title on clay ust last week in Rouen and will be out to roll back the years in Madrid.

Stephens' best effort in Madrid was her run to the last four at the event in 2019.


WTA Madrid: Yulia Putintseva vs Yue Yuan

Yue Yuan stunned Yulia Putintseva when they met in the Hobart International earlier this season in the only meeting between these players.

Armed with what she learnt in that loss, Putintseva should use conditions that suit her to level up the rivalry.

Yuan has pushed past Putintseva in the rankings now but probably can't claim to be the favourite for this clash.

Putintseva should snap her three-match losing streak in this first round contest.

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