In second-round Mutua Madrid Open action on Wednesday, seventh seed Diego Schwartzman will have his hands full when he faces Aslan Karatsev.
Karatsev upset the World No. 9 in the third round of the Australian Open in straight sets on his road to the semi-finals. The Russian has since won his biggest ATP Tour title in Dubai and notched an upset over World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Belgrade. He enters the ATP Masters 1000 at a career-high FedEx ATP ranking of World No. 27.
Schwartzman, a winner in Buenos Aires earlier this season, reached the quarter-finals in Barcelona and took a week off before arriving in Madrid. They’ll be the first match on at 11:00 am inside Stadium 3.
In other early Wednesday action, fifth seed Alexander Zverev will take on Kei Nishikori in a battle between two previous US Open finalists. The two haven’t faced off since 2018, and Nishikori, a former World No. 4, has been coming back from a right elbow injury. He outlasted Karen Khachanov in three sets on Tuesday, improving to 9-8 this season.
Second seed Daniil Medvedev will start play inside Manolo Santana Stadium against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. After testing positive for COVID-19 in Monte-Carlo, this will be Medvedev’s 2021 clay-court debut.
“Coming back was not easy the first four, five days especially after laying ten days in your bed at home,” Medvedev said. “ Of course, looking forward to playing here.”
In other second-round matches, Stefanos Tsitsipas will compete under the lights against Benoit Paire. Paire topped Munich champion Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 7-5 on Tuesday.
“I feel much better now after the holidays,” Paire said. “Mentally, I’m very fresh, so it will be a tough match, for sure, but I think I have some chances to win this match.”
Wednesday will also see the highly anticipated showdown between top seed Rafael Nadal and 17-year-old Spanish wild card Carlos Alcaraz.
ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, MAY 05, 2021
MANOLO SANTANA STADIUM start 11:00 am
A. Davidovich Fokina (ESP) vs  D. Medvedev (RUS)
WTA MATCH –  Ashleigh Barty (AUS) vs  Petra Kvitova (CZE)
Not Before 3:00 pm
 R. Nadal (ESP) vs [WC] C. Alcaraz (ESP)
Not Before 7:00 pm
WTA MATCH –  Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) vs  Elise Mertens (BEL)
Not Before 8:00 pm
B. Paire (FRA) vs  S. Tsitsipas (GRE)
ARANTXA SANCHEZ STADIUM start 11:00 am
WTA MATCH – [WC] Paula Badosa (ESP) vs  Belinda Bencic (SUI)
K. Nishikori (JPN) vs  A. Zverev (GER)
WTA MATCH – Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs TBD
 R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs J. Isner (USA)
C. Ruud (NOR) vs [LL] Y. Nishioka (JPN)
STADIUM 3 start 11:00 am
 D. Schwartzman (ARG) vs A. Karatsev (RUS)
J. Millman (AUS) vs D. Evans (GBR)
[Q] A. Popyrin (AUS) vs  J. Sinner (ITA)
 J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) vs R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Shapovalov (CAN)
COURT 4 start 11:00 am
 C. Garin (CHI) vs D. Koepfer (GER)
 M. Granollers (ESP) / H. Zeballos (ARG) vs K. Khachanov (RUS) / A. Rublev (RUS)
A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs [Q] F. Delbonis (ARG)
TBA  W. Koolhof (NED) / L. Kubot (POL) vs M. Demoliner (BRA) / D. Medvedev (RUS)
COURT 6 start 11:00 am
J. Chardy (FRA) / F. Martin (FRA) vs  P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA)
After Suitable Rest – [WC] A. Davidovich Fokina (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) vs T. Fritz (USA) / O. Marach (AUT)
After Suitable Rest – ATP –  R. Ram (USA) / J. Salisbury (GBR) vs A. Bublik (KAZ) / C. Garin (CHI)
After Suitable Rest – ATP – T. Puetz (GER) / A. Zverev (GER) vs M. Melo (BRA) / J. Rojer (NED)