Madrid Open 2024 Day 5: Men's singles predictions ft. Karen Khachanov vs Roberto Bautista Agut

2024 Australian Open - Day 6
Karen Khachanov will be in action on Day 5 of the 2024 Madrid Open.

The men's singles second round action will conclude on Day 5 of the 2024 Madrid Open.

Andrey Rublev snapped his four-match losing skid with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Facundo Bagnis in the second round on Friday. Two-time defending champion Carlos Alcaraz also made a winning start, beating Alexander Shevchenko 6-2, 6-1 to advance further.

Hubert Hurkacz, Tommy Paul and Denis Shapovalov were some of the other players who made it to the third round. While Rafael Nadal will command everyone's attention on Saturday, there are plenty of other interesting match-ups lined up for the day as well.

With that in mind, here's a look at the predictions for some key singles matches set for Day 5 of the Madrid Open:

#1 - Karen Khachanov vs Roberto Bautista Agut

Khachanov has a 15-7 record this year, with his best result being a title at the Qatar Open. He made it to the quarterfinals of his only prior tournament on clay this year, the Monte-Carlo Masters. He received a first-round bye here.

Bautista Agut fell in the qualifying rounds of the Madrid Open but got a second shot as a lucky loser. He made the most of it, beating Daniel Elahi Galan 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-1 in the first round.

Bautista Agut leads Khachanov 6-4 in the head-to-head, but the latter has won their last two matches, including one at this year's Open 13 Provence. The Russian has also won all three of their previous meetings on clay.

One of their duels on clay took place at last year's Madrid Open, which Khachanov won in three sets. History is likely to repeat itself with another win for the Russian in the Spanish capital.

Predicted winner: Karen Khachanov

#2 - Cameron Norrie vs Joao Fonseca

Cameron Norrie is the 29th seed at the Madrid Open.
Cameron Norrie is the 29th seed at the Madrid Open.

Out of Norrie's 12 wins this season, five have been on clay. He didn't win a match at the Argentina Open and the Monte-Carlo Masters. However, he made the semifinals and the quarterfinals in Rio and Barcelona, respectively. As one of the seeded players at the Madrid Open, he received a bye.

The 17-year-old Fonseca has been touted as the next big thing. He was given a wildcard to compete at the Madrid Open and defeated Alex Michelsen 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 in the first round.

Fonseca has proven to be a quick learner and has already reached a couple of quarterfinals at the ATP level this year, both on clay. While he has the potential to put Norrie in a spot of bother, the Brit's experience could prove to be too much for the teenager.

Predicted winner: Cameron Norrie

#3 - Jiri Lehecka vs Hamad Medjedovic

Medjedovic came through the qualifying rounds and beat Alex Michelsen 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the first round of the Madrid Open. This was the Serb's maiden win at the Masters 1000 level on his very first appearance.

Most of the tour has already gotten used to sliding on clay. However, this will be Lehecka's first match on the surface this season. He hasn't competed since his second-round exit from the Miami Open in March. The Czech has a 13-8 record this year and won the Adelaide International in January.

Medjedovic got the better of Lehecka the only time they crossed paths, which was at last year's Astana Open. The Serb is a pretty decent player on clay and has won three Challenger titles on the surface.

Medjedovic is used to the conditions at the Madrid Open, as he has contested three matches here so far. That could eventually turn the tide in his favor. If Lehecka gets off to a slow start, he could find it tough to outplay the Serb.

Predicted winner: Hamad Medjedovic

#4 - Alexander Bublik vs Roberto Carballes Baena

Alexander Bublik is the 17th seed at the Madrid Open.
Alexander Bublik is the 17th seed at the Madrid Open.

Bublik's debut on clay this year was quite forgettable, as he lost to Borna Coric 6-1, 6-1 in the first round of the Monte-Carlo Masters. While he has been around for quite a while, the Kazakh's career record on clay stands at 16-27.

Carballes Baena, meanwhile, has made a career by playing some of his best tennis on clay. He has been in good form over the last few weeks, as he reached the final of the Grand Prix Hassan II. He followed it up with a third-round showing at the Barcelona Open.

Carballes Baena scored a 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (5) win over Dominik Koepfer to begin his Madrid Open campaign. He has some momentum on his side and a good track record on clay compared to Bublik. The Spaniard could pull off an upset if he continues to play at his current level.

Predicted winner: Roberto Carballes Baena

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