This will be the first time these two players will play against each other.
Alexei Popyrin and Jannik Sinner are playing this Madrid Masters 1000 for the first time in their careers.
In this edition
Alexei Popyrin made it out of the qualifying round after wins over Federico Coria and Arthur Cazaux. The Australian then defeated Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round.
As for Jannik Sinner, he won against Guido Pella in the first round (led one set to zero, the Argentine gave up in the second set).
Alexei Popyrin was regularly pleasant to watch in his first match. It must be said that he drops some very effective forehand spuds. He also has this ability to win valuable free points on his serves, and that gets him out of a lot of jams. But Alexei Popyrin can quickly lose his footing when he doesn’t have control of the rallies or when his shots don’t penetrate the opponent’s defense.
I expect Jannik Sinner to be able to put Alexei Popyrin in trouble in the rallies. The Italian has the legs to play long rallies, but also the aggression to stifle the Australian. What is also interesting about Sinner is his ability to get the ball early and play unpredictable shots. I think for example of his unreadable backhand that goes very fast down the line. I don’t think Alexei Popyrin can consistently return that kind of ball.
Since we are dealing with two good servers, we are not immune to a close match, with perhaps a tie-break. Nevertheless, Jannik Sinner has to come away with a win if he can play at his usual level.
Prediction: Jannik Sinner wins