Day 2 Preview: Thiem vs. Murray Headlines Packed Monday Slate
After a trio of matches opened men's singles play Sunday at the Mutua Madrid Open, a full slate awaits on Monday. A marquee evening matchup between Dominic Thiem and Andy Murray headlines the action on Manolo Santana Stadium, with 10th seed Jannik Sinner set to open the day's play against Tommy Paul.
Thiem and Murray will play for the fifth time, with their ATP Head2Head series locked a two wins apiece. But they have not met since 2019, when Thiem won the only straight-sets match in their history in Beijing.
The Austrian is seeking the first win of his comeback from a right-wrist tear following appearances in Belgrade and Estoril. Murray is playing for the first time since posting a 2-2 record at the Indian Wells and Miami ATP Masters 1000 events, and accepted a wild card after initially announcing he would skip the clay season.
Both are previous ATP Masters 1000 champions, with Thiem winning Indian Wells in 2019 and Murray owning 14 titles at that level, most recently in Paris in 2016. The Briton is a two-time Madrid champ, lifting the title at the 2008 hard-court event and the 2015 edition on clay. Thiem has been to the semi-finals or beyond in each of his past four Madrid appearances, including back-to-back finals in 2017-18.
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Sinner and Paul will meet for the first time, with the 20-year-old Italian making his first appearance since his Monte Carlo quarter-final run. Sinner is making his second Madrid appearance after a second-round showing one year ago. While Sinner stands at No. 12 in the ATP Rankings, three spots off his career high, Paul enters at No. 34, just one spot off his own career best. With a 15-9 record on the season, Paul will be looking to atone for his lone first-round loss last week in Estoril.
Rounding out the centre court action is another first-time matchup between Gael Monfils and Spanish wild card Carlos Gimeno Valero, with the winner advancing to face top seed Novak Djokovic. The 20-year-old Gimeno Valero will be making his ATP Tour main-draw debut, while World No. 21 Monfils seeks to return to the Madrid quarter-finals for the third time. The Frenchman last played in the Spanish capital in 2019, when he lost a third-set tie-break to Roger Federer in the last 16.
Also on the schedule for Monday is 13th seed Diego Schwartzman vs. qualifier Benoit Paire, and 14th seed Denis Shapovalov vs. lucky loser Ugo Humbert. Prior to those two matchups on Arantxa Sanchez Stadium, home favourite Alejandro Davidovich will face South Africa's Lloyd Harris.