This will be a first between these two players.
This is the second time that Alejandro Davidovich Fokina participates in this Masters 1000 in Madrid, and the first time he goes beyond the first round.
Daniil Medvedev will play in the final draw of this Spanish tournament for the third time in his career. He has never been able to win a match before.
In this edition
In the 1st round, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina won solidly against Pierre-Hugues Herbert. A victory after 3 hours of play and 3 tie-breaks. Too bad for the Frenchman who could have done well.
As for Daniil Medvedev, he took advantage of his ranking to enter the competition in the second round.
Daniil Medvedev is back after contracting Covid-19. It is worth noting that this has shaken him up a lot, forcing him to stay in bed for a while. The Russian hasn’t played since April 1st and his defeat in Miami, and will resume competition on a surface he doesn’t like much. Medvedev said it himself: clay is not compatible with his style of play and his physique. It must be said that he is an adept of flat balls, which can be difficult on this slow surface.
In concrete terms, I expect a complicated recovery for Daniil Medvedev. Indeed, we do not really know if he has fully recovered from Covid-19, which can have a significant impact on the physical level. The Russian could be less comfortable than usual in managing long rallies. In addition, we must not forget that Daniil Medvedev has not won a match on this surface since April 2019, and that he remains on 6 consecutive defeats on this clay court.
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina almost seems to me to be a safer choice (surprising, since he’s playing against a top 5 player). The Spanish player has the chance to play at home and there should be a lot of people to support him (like in his first match). So we can imagine him very motivated to perform well.
Secondly, Davidovich Fokina has already become very accustomed to the clay court and the intensity of the rallies it generates. Daniil Medvedev might have a hard time starting this match, and that might make it easier for his opponent to spread his wings.
In the rallies, it is obvious that Daniil Medvedev will be very dangerous if he can stay close to his line (which would allow him to take the ball very early and flat). But Alejandro Davidovich Fokina knows how to send some good spikes that could force the Russian to back off (and thus make him a little less dangerous).
This match depends a lot on Daniil Medvedev. Since I don’t expect him to be at 100% (let alone on this surface), I’m going to turn to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who is still making a name for himself.
Prediction: Alejandro Davidovich Fokina wins