We’re into the quarterfinals of the Mutua Madrid Open, and there are some great matches on Friday's schedule. A lot of eyes are going to be on the meeting between world No. 9 Carlos Alcaraz and world No. 4 Rafael Nadal, and you can’t blame people for being excited about that one. However, we’re looking to world No. 10 Felix Auger-Aliassime taking on world No. 3 Alexander Zverev as our prime money-making opportunity for this slate.

This tournament is one that really suits Zverev’s game nicely, as the clay allows him to get into a lot of people’s serves as a returner. Meanwhile, his serve doesn’t really take a hit because of the conditions in Madrid. That’s why he has been able to win this event twice in his career, with one of those wins coming last year. The 25-year-old has, however, gotten off a little easy with his draw, and he hasn’t exactly looked great despite that. Zverev needed three sets to get by world No. 24 Marin Cilic in his first match, which wasn’t the most inspiring of outings. Then, world No. 63 Lorenzo Musetti had to retire in the second set of their match in the round of 16.


Make your picks, and you could win big

Make your picks, and you could win big

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On the other hand, Auger-Aliassime has looked incredibly strong since the start of this tournament. The Canadian earned a straight-set win over clay-court specialist Cristian Garin, and he followed it up by absolutely dominating world No. 12 Jannik Sinner in a 6-1, 6-2 victory—and Auger-Aliassime was the underdog in that match. Auger-Aliassime isn’t known for being a great clay-court player, as he is just 26-26 on the surface in his career. He has, however, taken such a big leap with his game that you can probably throw that record out at this point. The 21-year-old has a great serve and a rock-solid game from the baseline. That’s going to allow him to be a force on any surface moving forward.

With Zverev not playing all that well coming into this match—and actually having a disappointing season overall—it’s hard not to view the Canadian as a legitimate threat to win outright. Auger-Aliassime has won two of his last three matches against Zverev, with one of those coming at the ATP Cup in January. Auger-Aliassime will not be intimidated when these two take the court, as he knows he has what it takes to beat this opponent.

Considering Zverev has won this event twice, it’s fair to question whether or not Auger-Aliassime will ultimately make it three wins in his last four matches against the German when this one is all over. However, you can count on the Canadian to really make this a battle, and we like him to at least take one set here.

The Pick: Auger-Aliassime To Win A Set (-170)