The ATP Masters 1000 Mutua Madrid Open has already emerged it's quarterfinals line-up, which is undoubtedly surprising, considering a lot of upsets which happened on the road to this stage and some unobvious names, which occured to be sensations of the tournament, which is currently entering its decisive phases. The top half QFs matches will be played on Wednesday, while bottom half pairings meet up on Thursday.
Apart from all the upsets and favorites being already out from the event, the local hero and the tournament's top seed is doing really well. Carlos Alcaraz approached the quarterfinals after the astonishing win in the hit clash played against Alexander Zverev. The Spaniard was a pre-match favorite in the top round of 16 match, but barely anyone could expect, that it will end up with such a beatdown score. Alcaraz defeated Zverev 6-1 6-2, giving just no chance for the German, who falls out from the top 20 of ATP ranking for the first time since 2017. Karen Khachanov sets up possibly the strongest QFs pairing against Alcaraz. The 10th seed has surprisingly defeated his fellowcountry Andrey Rublev in straight sets, winning 7-6(8) 6-4. Rublev, seeded with #5, was a pre-match favorite there with an odd 1.50. It was quite an upset for the Russian who won the latest ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Monte Carlo and had already a flawless run in Madrid, approaching the round of 16 without losing a set against Yoshihito Nishioka and Stan Wawrinka. Khachanov had more bumpy road to this stage, earning his victories against Thiago Monteiro and Roberto Bautista Agut in three-setters. It's interesting to see if the recent Australian Open semifinalist will have a chance to challenge Carlos Alcaraz on the home soil of his opponent.
Daniel Altmaier is one of those players who came out of the shadows to shine in Madrid and reached out the quarterfinal after quite an affordable draw, which he got as a lucky loser from qualies. Altmaier did not lose a set so far, facing two other Germans on the road - Oscar Otte and Yannick Hanfmann, and making a little upset on Jaume Munar, as he defeated the Spanish clay court specialist with a crushing score 6-3 6-0. Borna Coric will be his QF's opponent. The tournament in Madrid is quite a redemption for the Croatian who had a horrible season so far. Coric won three matches in a row for the first time in 2023, after defeating really notable opponents. He started his campaign as the 17th seed with a straight sets win over Hugo Gaston and made an upset on Hubert Hurkacz in next round, winning 7-6(3) 6-3. The round of 16's clash between Coric and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina is one of the highlights of this tournament so far. Coric prevailed in three sets after 3:27 hours of battle, which has ended up in the decisive set's tiebreak. The Croatian was already a break down, losing 3-4 in third set, but managed to level the score and came back in the tiebreak as well, winning it from being 0-3 down.
Stefanos Tsitsipas is on a good course to reach the final, as a confident favorite from the bottom half, being the only one seeded player to reach the quarters in this part of draw. The Greek needed to fight for his existence in the tournament quite hard though. He prevailed against Dominic Thiem in one of the most interesting second round's matches. Tsitsipas fought back from being a set down and occured to be better in decisive tiebreak, winning it 3-6 6-1 7-6(5) eventually. Sebastian Baez was another tough opponent who took the set from Tsitsipas, who won 7-5 3-6 6-3 against the 25th seeded Argentinian. The match against Bernabe Zapata Miralles, who plays really good clay season so far could be another trap, but this time Tsitsipas had full control from the start till the end, winning 6-3 6-1. Jan Lennard Struff will be his opponent in the quarters. The German lives the time of his career so far, reaching out QFs stage in second consecutive ATP Masters 1000 tournament. Stuff, after Daniel Altmaier, is another German lucky loser from the qualies, who ended up at least as an quarterfinalist. He started the main draw campaign from straight sets win over Lorenzo Sonego. Then, Struff needed three sets to defeat all of his following opponents, battling over Ben Shelton, Dusan Lajovic and Pedro Cachin.
The last quarterfinals pairing is the most surprising one. Zhizhen Zhang will meet Aslan Karatsev, as the world's number 99 and 121 will fight for the place in the ATP Masters 1000 semis. Both reached out this stage, making huge upsets on the road. Zhang started his main draw from the match against qualifier Jurij Rodionov, but then it was a hell of draw for the Chinese, who defeated Denis Shapovalov (seed #21), Cameron Norrie (seed #11) and Taylor Fritz (seed #8). Zhang was an underdog in all of those matches, being rated with odds 2.86, 4.23 and 5.55 respectively. All of those three matches ended up in decisive set's tiebreak. Especially the last one against Fritz was a big story. Zhang did not manage to serve for the match in 10th game of third set against the favorized American who forced the decisive tiebreak. Fritz had 3 matchpoints there, but Zhang fought back to win it 10-8.
The road of Aslan Karatsev was no easier. The Russian, well known as the Australian Open 2021 semifinalist, fell down in the rankings after really poor 2022 season, as he is ranked 121 in ATP list now. Karatsev has needed to play in the qualies in Madrid, and apart from the Q1R match, he was rated lower than all of his opponents in further 5 matches. Interestingly, Karatsev eliminated Jan Lennard Struff in the final of qualies, and now both of them are the quarterfinalists in the same half of the main draw, after the German became a lucky loser. The defeated names in the book of Karatsev in main draw are quite impressive. Laslo Djere, Botic Van De Zandschulp and Alex De Minaur where the ones to beat before the meeting with Daniil Medvedev in round of 16. The leader of ATP Race list in 2023 does not love to play on clay, but he was still a confident favorite ahead of the match with his fellowcountry ranked out of the top 100 in official rankings. Despite this, Karatsev managed to make an upset on Medvedev, advancing into quarters after straight sets win, 7-6(1) 6-4.
Here are the highlights from Tuesday's round of 16 matches: