Fixture: (WC) Carlos Alcaraz vs Adrian Mannarino
Date: 3 May 2021
Tournament: Mutua Madrid Open 2021
Round: First round (Round of 64)
Venue: Madrid, Spain
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €2,614,465
Match timing: Approx. 1 pm local time, 4.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Carlos Alcaraz vs Adrian Mannarino preview
Carlos Alcaraz will be looking to start his first career Masters 1000 event on a strong note when he takes on Adrian Mannarino at the Madrid Open on Monday.
Alcaraz, who has been working under former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero lately, has had a great start to the year. The Spaniard turned many heads when he upset top seed David Goffin at the Melbourne 1 event, thereby earning his first top 15 win at the bare age of 17 - that too in only his second career tournament.
Alcaraz even managed to get to the main draw of the 2021 Australian Open, becoming the first male player born in 2003 to qualify for a Grand Slam. The fast-rising teen then had a quiet time on the tour before entering the Andalucia Open, where he beat the likes of Casper Ruud and Feliciano Lopez en route to the last four.
Alcaraz was eventually beaten by Jaume Munar in straight sets. But with his impressive campaign in Marbella, the 17-year-old showed that he has the skills and the temperament to be a top player in the future.
Adrian Mannarino, on the other hand, happens to be a veteran on the pro tour. But the Frenchman doesn't enjoy playing on clay as much as he does on faster courts, where his unorthodox strokes and tactics tend to have a bigger pay-off.
It is also pertinent to note that Mannarino has dropped 11 of his last 14 matches on the dirt, with six of those losses coming consecutively. Needless to say, the 32-year-old will be itching for a win when he takes the court for his first-round match in Madrid.
Carlos Alcaraz vs Adrian Mannarino head-to-head
The first-round match in Madrid will be the first-ever career meeting between Carlos Alcaraz and Adrian Mannarino, so the head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Carlos Alcaraz vs Adrian Mannarino prediction
Carlos Alcaraz has shown a lot of promise since making his tour debut last year. The 17-year-old is already being touted to take over the reins of Spanish men's tennis in the future.
Alcaraz's biggest strength is his forehand, which he hits with massive power and topspin. But the Spaniard has a great backhand too, which helps him penetrate the court well.
That said, Alcaraz also has a knack for coughing up some untimely errors from his stronger wing.
Adrian Mannarino, meanwhile, has a tricky game, with the ability to manipulate the pace of any rally with his flat forehand. The veteran also possesses finesse and a well-disguised drop shot, which will be key in putting his younger opponent under pressure during the longer exchanges.
Alcaraz's fortunes will largely depend on whether he can keep his forehand under control. But the teen phenom should be able to get past Mannarino on a surface that the Frenchman doesn't particularly enjoy playing on - provided he keeps his mind clear.
Prediction: Carlos Alcaraz to win in straight sets.