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Madrid Open 2024: Tommy Paul vs Francisco Cerundolo; Preview, Head-to-Head, and Prediction


I’m actually happy that the match today went a little longer” – this was the reaction of Tommy Paul after his recent victory against Lukas Klein at the Madrid Open. The 26-year-old American had a stellar start to his season this year. He won his first tour-level title since 2021 at the Dallas Open in February and then it was followed by a seven-match winning streak to reach the finals of the Delray Beach Open. But an ankle sprain in Miami took him out of action for quite some time. However, Tommy is back in action and currently, he’s ready to roar in Madrid!

It will be interesting to see how long he can make a run at this tournament this year. But standing in his way in the next match is Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo. How will win this enticing encounter at the Arantxa Sanchez Stadium? Well, to get into the predictions, we first need to get a look at the numbers. And Francisco Cerundolo loves “everything with numbers“, he loves looking at the stats. But is he ahead of the American on paper?

Tommy Paul vs Francisco Cerundolo: Preview

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Tommy Paul will be keen to get back his winning touch yet again this year. In the previous match, he defeated Klein by 6(5)-7,6-1,6-4. Paul could manage to hit only one ace and committed a single double fault in the entire match. His first serve win percentage was 78%, but it dropped to 60% on the second serve against the Serbian. He converted three of his seven breakpoints in the last match. Tommy Paul is quite efficient in the serves and has hit a staggering 116 aces this season so far and has won 83% of his service games.

On the other hand, Francisco Cerundolo defeated Hungary’s Fabian Marozsan in his first match at the 2024 Madrid Open by 6-2,7-6(5). He had hit four aces and committed only three double faults in the entire match. Cerundolo won 71% of his first serve and 50% of his second serve against the Hungarian. However, his numbers were quite impressive if we look at his conversion rate at the breakpoints (4/5). So far, Cerundolo has hit sixty-one aces and committed fifty-one double faults this season. His win percentage on the first serve is currently recorded at 73%. Can he improve his numbers further in his match against Paul?

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Paul vs Cerundolo: Head-to-Head

Both of them have met each other four times in their career. Currently, they are levelled at 2-2 in the H2H. It will be interesting to see who takes the first step forward in their next faceoff in Madrid. It took three sets to decide the winner of their match on all four occasions. Tommy Paul won their first encounter at Eastbourne International in 2022. However, Francisco Cerundolo came back with a three-set thriller in their next meeting at the Queen’s Club Championships in 2023. It was followed by yet another victory for the Argentinian at the finals of the 2023 Eastbourne International.

But Tommy Paul had the last laugh at the Canadian Open last year. He defeated Cerundolo by 7-6,6-7,6-3. Talking about numbers, Paul hit five aces compared to just four by Cerundolo. Even on the double faults, Tommy Paul had better control over his serves than the Argentinian. Paul’s first-serve win percentage was 68% while 63% for Cerundolo. The American also had the edge over the Argentinian in the win percentage on the second serve.

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But Tommy Paul converted only five of his ten breakpoints, while Cerundolo converted three of his five breakpoints. Francisco Cerundolo’s best result came at the Rio Open where he reached the semis, how far can he go this time around in Madrid?

Prediction: Tommy Paul to win yet another three-setter

Tommy Paul (14-6) has a better win-loss record this season than Francisco Cerundolo (9-12). Paul grew up playing on clay courts in Greenville, NC while Cerundolo’s favorite surface is clay. Both of them reached the R64 of this tournament in 2023, who can get further in this tournament in the 2024 season?

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USA Today via Reuters

Paul won the French Open boys’ singles title in 2015, so he surely knows how to bring the best out of him on the dirt. Tommy Paul’s strong attacking forehand and solid footwork along the baseline may give him an edge over Cerundolo in this contest. While Francisco Cerundolo would have to keep the American far away from the nets and dictate the game on his own terms. But that looks quite unlikely at the moment, looking at the current form of Tommy Paul. So, the number 16 over the number 22 at the Spanish capital!



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