Alcaraz Risks Queen’s Club Medal As He Faces Tough Draw

Alcaraz Risks Queen’s Club Medal As He Faces Tough Draw

Carlos Alcaraz won his maiden grass-court title last year at Queen’s Club.Submitted by the ATP Staff

Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz faces a challenging draw at the Cinch Championships, his first tournament after capturing the Roland Garros title.

The No. 2 player in the PIF ATP Rankings will debut his grass-court season against a Top 30 opponent in Argentine Francisco Cerundolo. They played in 2019 at an ITF World Tennis Tour event in Palmanova, Spain, when Alcaraz was 15, and Cerundolo triumphed 6-2, 6-4.

Carlos Alcaraz won his first grass-court title last year at Queen's Club.

Should Alcaraz advance, his path will not get easier. The Spaniard would face Jack Draper, who may capture his first ATP Tour championship Sunday in Stuttgart, or 2024 rising star Mariano Navone. The first seeded opponent the 21-year-old could play is fifth seed Tommy Paul, who has won two of their four Lexus ATP Head2Head encounters.

Alcaraz is on a 12-match grass-court winning streak following his wins at Queen’s Club and Wimbledon last year.

Second seed Alex de Minaur, who will play in the ’s-Hertogenbosch final on Sunday, faces a hard opening test against Italian Lorenzo Musetti, who reached the Stuttgart semi-finals. The Australian made the final last year at Queen’s Club.

Five-time Cinch Championships winner Andy Murray will face a qualifier in the first round. Should he win, the former World No. 1 will play seventh seed Holger Rune or Jordan Thompson.

There are some exciting first-round contests. Korda, a finalist in ’s-Hertogenbosch, plays big-hitting Karen Khachanov, Cameron Norrie opens against Milos Raonic in a clash of former Top 10 stars and 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov, the third seed, takes on Adrian Mannarino, a two-time grass-court titlist.

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