Rafael Nadal Madrid Open
Rafael Nadal Madrid Open

The tennis fans are ready for the Mutua Madrid Open as all the top guns set sights on this Masters 1000 event in tune up for their Roland Garros preparations. Hot on wheels, Rafael Nadal, unbeaten on clay this year is the man to beat, according to Roger Federer. The draw was released on Saturday and both these men have been drawn to meet each other in the quarter finals.

Considering the events that have spanned out so far on the crushed bricks, it’s a tournament that is much anticipated in the sporting world. It’d also suggest how the upcoming clay season turns out.

Having been shockingly knocked out early in Monte-Carlo, the world number one Novak Djokovic would be determined to take things under control yet again and provide stability to his quest for the career slam. He faces a potential clash against the seventh seed Jo-Wilfired Tsonga in the quarters and if things turn out as expected, a possible rematch of last year’s French Open final in the semis. And then he could face any of the Big Four in the finals.

The defending champion Andy Murray has the toughest draw amongst the top seeds. Facing Vasek Pospisil in his opener, he is lined up to meet Gilles Simon, followed by David Ferrer or Tomas Berdych in the quarters. The world number two is yet to win a title this year.

Rafa Nadal, would begin his campaign for a third consecutive title and a chance to become the all-time leader in the number of clay-court titles, against the Serb Viktor Troicki or Russian Andrey Kuznetsov. He’d then have to beat the world number 3, 2 and 1 in succession to win the title. A high octane Fedal clash is on the cards, but looking at Rafa’s form and considering Federer making a comeback, the result won’t be a shocker.

The most interesting thing to look forward would be Roger Federer’s performance in his second tournament since undergoing a knee surgery in February. The Swiss looked comfortable on his return few weeks back but opted not to play immediately after Monte Carlo. He could possibly face good friend Juan Martin del Potro in the third round, although expect Dominic Thiem to knock the Argentine out in his opener.

It’s probably the most wide open tournament in recent times. With Rafa finding lost ground on his beloved surface and Djokovic finally losing a match, things are set up beautifully for another week of scintillating tennis. You may hope for your favorite star to lift the trophy, but betting on the man from Serbia still looks the safer option.

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