The ATP Masters 1000 Madrid Open is underway and into the semifinals. In what will be his first match played as a non-teen, Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz, who turns 20 on Friday, is once again getting all the headlines after dropping just one set in his last nine matches, which dates back to the Barcelona event a few weeks ago. Here’s how to bet Friday's semifinal match against Croatia’s Borna Coric.
Odds for ATP Masters 1000 Madrid semifinal
Alcaraz: -5.5 games
ML: Alcaraz (-1400); Coric (+750)
OV/UN: 20 games
Alcaras is 27-2 in 2023. There is nothing that can be said about his style of play that already hasn’t been said. He has the complete combination of skills that made The Big 3 so great for so long. That skill set is having variety, while knowing when and how to execute properly and with force. Alcaraz's main weapon at the moment is the drop shot. It’s a thing of beauty and opponents don’t have an answer for it.
However, conditions in Madrid favor Coric’s game; he's a heavy hitter with heavy topspin. You see this in Alcaraz’s recent match against Russia’s Karen Khachanov. The pace of Khachanov’s shots made it more difficult for the Spaniard to manipulate the ball the way we (as fans) are used to seeing. Madrid’s high altitude offers this dynamic change, making certain players more competitive.
Coric has shown his ability to absorb pace when he played against one of the better servers on tour in Hubert Hurkacz in the Madrid Round of 32. Coric also displayed grit when he faced one of the stronger clay-court specialists on tour in Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the Round of 16.
Coric, while not much of a generator of pace, is a very solid counterpuncher who can sustain grueling matches when he’s playing well and in rhythm. These two aspects could make the world's No. 20-ranked player a tricky opponent for Alcaraz. Madrid conditions are the key factor in this matchup.
Alcaraz is always a threat to dominate an opponent on clay, but because it’ll be his first encounter with Coric, the unknown could stall that dominance long enough to keep Coric competitive.
Bet: Coric +5.5 games