ATP Madrid Semifinal Best Bets | Picks for Carlos Alcaraz vs Borna Coric, Jan-Lennard Struff vs Aslan Karatsev
Photo by Juan Carlos Lucas/NurPhoto via Getty Images. Pictured: Carlos Alcaraz.
We managed to hit our best bets for Thursday’s Madrid Open quarterfinals. Aslan Karatsev came through and Stefanos Tsitsipas and Jan-Lennard Struff played one of the most serve-oriented matches you’ll ever see on a clay court.
Now, we take a look at Friday’s ATP Madrid Open semifinal slate, which features Carlos Alcaraz vs. Borna Coric and Struff vs. Karatsev.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on viewing tennis.
ATP Madrid Picks & Predictions
Carlos Alcaraz (-1600) vs Borna Coric (+800)
10 a.m. ET
The most captivating tennis player on the planet is at it again as Alcaraz is cruising on home soil.
After winning Barcelona a week ago without dropping a set, Alcaraz has lost just one in the Spanish capital over the last week or so en route to the semifinals.
Now taking on one of the streakier players of the last eight months in Coric, the world No. 2 is looking to keep his focus and continue his quest to defend his title from 2022.
Entering the Madrid Masters on a five-match losing streak, Coric has found some much-needed success, having won all four of his matches.
However, there’s a case to be made that his success has been a byproduct of his draw. He’s played the soft-hitting Hugo Gaston, poor returning and non clay-courter Hubert Hurkacz, snuck by Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (who led in the third set and appeared to be cramping late) and then lucky loser Daniel Altmaier, whose return game and backhand are still Challenger Tour level material, at best.
Coric has benefited from the altitude in Madrid, where his less-than-stellar serve plays up (he won the Cincinnati Masters on very quick courts for a similar reason), but against an elite returner who has the most well-rounded baseline game of anyone not named Novak Djokovic, I’m not so certain that service game holds up nearly as well.
The Croatian doesn’t have the weapons to trouble Alcaraz and keep a set close, and we should see this one end in straight sets with at least one lopsided set mixed in.
My number on this total is closer to 18.5 games, so I’ll happily take under 19.5.
Pick: Under 19.5 (+104 via Caesars Sportsbook)
Jan-Lennard Struff (-120) vs Aslan Karatsev (-105)
2 pm E.T.
On par with the unlikely quarterfinal between Karatsev and Zhang Zhizhen, this is a semifinal matchup that has stunned the tennis community.
Struff, of course, lost in qualifying and is only in this tournament as a lucky loser. Who beat him in that qualifying match? None other than Karatsev.
As I mentioned in the last article, Struff was fortunate to get through his match with Pedro Cachin, who was the better player for the majority of the match.
Well, rinse and repeat, as Struff is through again, despite Tsitsipas generating 10 times the break-point chances and the German only having one throughout the match.
All that is to say: I’m still far from being sold on Struff.
Can he continue to overcome being outplayed? In these conditions, sure.
This time, however, he doesn’t have a noticeably weak one-handed backhand to pick on with his serve, and he is playing someone who can outplay him from the baseline and is a superior returner.
Make no mistake, it’s likely to be yet another serve-oriented affair. But the numbers indicate Struff is more vulnerable than the five breaks of his serve this week would indicate, and I’m much more keen to back Karatsev, who has been serving well in his own right on clay.
Pick: Karatsev Moneyline (-105 via PointsBet)
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