The second of three European clay court Masters events kicks off in Madrid. From this very moment, the players get in very tough schedule and their performance on this portion of the season will heavily influence the ranking further into the ATP year.
Weather and Courts
The weather in Madrid is expected to be quite tolerable with +16 up to +26°C in different parts of the day. Starting from Thursday, rains are expected and the heat will fall down. The humidity in Madrid, with no access to seas, is comfortable. However, 15-18kmph winds will negatively affect playing conditions.
The courts in Madrid are traditionally faster than in Monte-Carlo and Rome.
The Spaniard have lifted the title five times since the first edition of the event in 2002. Four of them were claimed by Rafa Nadal (the remaining one by Juan Carlos Ferrero in 2003). Roger Federer holds three titles, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray – two titles each.
Rafael Nadal has a good chance to claim the fifth title in the Spanish capital. Rafa enjoys playing in Madrid and many Real Madrid football players courtside will provide him additional support. Uncle Toni once mentioned that for Rafa it’s very important to win to stand tall mentally. So for the “king of the clay” this event shall be very important from the point of view of further performance on clay.
Winning Prospects: Quarter 1
In the first quarter of the draw, Andy Murray will try to make a deep run at a huge event and claim the third title in Madrid. His main challenge will be that in the face of Dominic Thiem.
Projected quarterfinal: Dominic Thiem v Andy Murray
Winning Prospects: Quarter 2
A very tricky and close quarter. It features a decent clay-courter Pablo Cuevas, Jack Sock, Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic, Tomas Berdych, Alexander Zverev, Pablo Carreno Busta.
Projected quarterfinal: Marin Cilic v Stan Wawrinka
Winning Prospects: Quarter 3
This quarter features world number 5 Rafael Nadal will start as a hot champion, but he’s not the only one competitor with real chances for the title. His route to the final won’t be that easy. Up to him is Nick Kyrgios who enjoys defeating top players and, most probably, Milos Raonic. The Canadian has never been an easy opponent to Rafa.
Projected quarterfinal: Rafael Nadal v Milos Raonic
Winning Prospects: Quarter 4
This bottom section is probably the strongest in draw. There is the defending champion Novak Djokovic who has just parted ways with the entire coaching team and will struggle alone. Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and Kei Nishikori will do their best to stop the Serb en his route to the last 4.
Projected quarterfinal: Novak Djokovic v Kei Nishikori
In the projected semis battle the Serb will hardly have much chance to make it to the final, but he can exhaust Nadal significantly.
Nadal – Djokovic
Murray – Wawrinka
Project final: Nadal v Murray
What are your ideas about the Madrid Masters event this year? Will Nadal secure the fifth title or Novak will defend the title? Feel free to drop us a comment!
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