First round at Madrid's dirt tournament tournament with 27time Romanian Marius Copil (#92) facing 28man German Jan-Lennard Struff (#65).
In a very good condition this year, he is a Romanian and for the last year he is firmly in the 100 world championship in No 73 in February for the first time in his career in the final (Sofia) ATP tournament. He has enough presence in the Madrid tournament without being a player, but his very good service is what keeps him on this dirt surface that is the slowest of all others. Last year he won the 1 round Garcia-Lopez with 2-1 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 and Murray with 2-0 set 6-4, 6-3. This year comes from the qualifiers with victory 2-1 set 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to 1 round toward Ivashka and then big win with 2-1 set 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 opposite to Munar with a big serviceman and a game that had to turn off 8 point-and-shoot and exploit the unique opportunity presented to him for a break.
Against him, Struff is very good on dirt surfaces but he also relies on his good service. Still good at his level in recent years near 50 top down and quite competitive when his serve and his aggressive game works. Monte-Carlo started dynamically with 2 victories against Sugita and Fognini with 2-0 sets and then defeating 2-1 sets from the upper Zverev. In Munich and Budapest he then again started with 2 victories in the first rounds and then defeats by players who made good tournaments and were conquered, Cecchinato in Budapest and Zverev in Munich. He has never played in the Masters of Madrid before, and here the hiding spot may be hidden on a surface although convenient but Struff is not good at returning.
In the games we have a 4-2 in favor of the Romanian Copil but all on hard surfaces and in Indoor which are the favorite of Copil. The last showdown and fairly recent in the Stockholm closed in late last year with winner Struff with 2-1 set 6-7, 6-4, 7-6. Serving will play a big part in the fight and the weak point and 2 are the moderate returns even though they will fight in dirt. Madrid is a special tournament that Copil knows better but Struff will adjust at some point, I see it very hard not to have TB in the game and 1 bracelet unique to defining the clean set 6-3 / 6-4. An advantage might have the Romanian at first in the 1 set and then even if he conquer the set, I think Struff can lead the 2 set at least to the TB. I find it very difficult to clear the game and I will bet on the Over 20.5 games that the bettor gives @1.55 with 4 / 10.