Preview: Alcaraz & Rublev Continue Title Quests In Madrid | ATP Tour
Karen Khachanov, Hubert Hurkacz and Alexander Zverev also play on a day when seeded stars clash for the first time at this year’s event. ATPTour.com looks at some of the key third-round matchups on show in the Spanish capital on Sunday across the men’s singles draw and men’s doubles draw.
 Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) vs.  Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)
Alcaraz triumphed in Madrid last year, defeating Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev en route to the crown. Twelve months on and the 19-year-old overcame a tough opening test against Emil Ruusuvuori on Friday to set a second meeting against former World No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov.
Alcaraz, who will boost his World No. 1 hopes if he defends his title in the Spanish capital, is seeking his fourth tour-level title of the season in Madrid. The home favourite will be aware of the threat Dimitrov holds as he chases his 17th consecutive win at Spanish ATP Tour events.
The Bulgarian is one of the cleanest ballstrikers on the Tour and quickly found his rhythm against Gregoire Barrere in his opening round to improve to 11-7 on the season. Yet with Alcaraz backed by home support and possessing an array of weapons, Dimitrov will need to be at his best if he is to upset the Spaniard and earn his second Top 10 win of the season.
 Andrey Rublev vs.  Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN)
Rublev has made a red-hot start to the clay swing, winning his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo before advancing to the final in Banja Luka. The fifth seed made a winning start in Madrid, downing former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka in straight sets to improve to 9-1 on the surface in 2023.
Rublev’s third-round opponent Nishioka could cause him problems, though. The Japanese star leads Rublev 2-1 in their ATP Head2Head series, having defeated him in their previous meeting in Washington last year. The 28th seed moved past Alex Molcan in his opening match to earn his first ATP Masters 1000 win of the season and will be aiming to recapture the form that saw him advance to the fourth round at January’s Australian Open.
Having advanced to the quarter-finals in Madrid last season, Rublev will be hoping his big-hitting game will be too much for Nishioka when they meet on Sunday.
 Holger Rune (DEN) vs.  Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP)
Holger Rune survived a major scare in his opening match at the Caja Magica. He saved one match point to defeat Alexander Bublik on his Madrid debut, improving to 9-1 on clay this year. The 19-year-old, who this month advanced to the final in Monte-Carlo and lifted his fourth tour-level trophy in Munich, will look to continue his red-hot form when he takes on Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in their first tour-level meeting.
The home favourite Davidovich Fokina eased past Albert Ramos-Vinolas to reach the third round in Madrid for the first time. The 23-year-old enjoyed a run to the quarter-finals in Barcelona last week and will be seeking his first Top 10 win of the season when he takes on World No. 7 Rune.
Also In Action
Zverev holds fond memories in Madrid, having lifted the trophy in 2018 and 2021 before he advanced to the final last year. The German will look to improve to 21-3 at the ATP Masters 1000 when he takes on Frenchman Hugo Grenier.
Miami semi-finalist Karen Khachanov meets Roberto Bautista Agut and will aim to start turning the tables in the pair’s ATP Head2Head rivalry, which the Spaniard leads 6-2. Italian qualifier Matteo Arnaldi upset Casper Ruud and will look to continue his run against Spaniard Jaume Munar.
From Milan To Madrid!: #NextGenATP Alumni Arnaldi Thriving On The Big Stage
In doubles action, Canadians Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov will take on sixth seeds Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara, while Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe meet Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer.