Hey all, the Madrid Masters draw is out and so far it looks like Federer will be playing. Many fans have been expecting the arrival of a new baby which would keep him out of the tournament but he's in the draw and most likely en route to the Caja Magica this weekend.
Draw wise it's another reasonable one and like I said before there is no such thing as difficult or easy draws in Masters 1000's as you're going to play top tier opponents after 1 or 2 matches regardless.
Roger has landed in Nadal's half this time and could meet him for the first time since the Australian Open Semi Final. Nadal has been slumping recently so now could be a very opportune time for Roger to break the shackles especially on a quicker type of clay that has served him well over the years. Although I'm not sure Nadal makes the semis here so it might not happen.
I think the main talking points will be Nadal's form, Djokovic's wrist and whether or not Stan will keep up his form from Monte Carlo. As for Federer there's not a whole lot of hype or question marks surrounding his game, he's been solid this year and I expect similar here. He's clearly not favourite but I think he will make the Quarter Finals at least and comes in slightly under the radar despite making a clay final in his first appearance on the surface this year.
Monte Carlo was a disappointing final but overall a good start to the clay season, hopefully he continues that here and maintains the standard he's set since the end of 2013. The quicker court should held him and the ball doesn't bounce as high here, two things very much in his favour.
The only other player in the draw with a Grand Slam win to his name is Murray. His last outing on clay ended in a straight sets loss to Fognini in the Davis Cup. I'm surprised he didn't play Monte Carlo actually so I will be surprised if he makes it deep here. Like Roger conditions should suit him better but there's no way he is match sharp; combine that with a poor clay record and it doesn't look too promising. But he doe have an award winning hotel so it's not all bad 😀
Federer's Seeded Opponents
- Round 1: Bye
- Round 2: Benoit Paire / Gilles Simon
- Round 3: Seppi / Verdasco
- Quarter Final: Tsonga / Murray
- Semi Final: Rafael Nadal
- Final: Novak Djokovic
I think we're going to get a surprise winner in Madrid this year. Berdych or Raonic are ones that I see having a decent tournament and could pull it out the bag.
I can't see Nadal winning it based on form but you can never rule him out on clay, Djokovic is an unknown as to whether his wrist is 100%, he might take it easy which isn't really his style of play so could cost him.
Federer I think makes the Quarter Finals and I can see Tsonga been his opponent there. I think Simon will provide a test like usual for him in round 2 though if they play. Not a great first match for the GOAT as Simon causes him a ton of problems. Hopefully a Rome 2013 style match awaits us rather than a French Open 2013 one.
Nishikori could factor too but has he got the weapons to win one of the bigger tournaments? Not sure on that one. Perhaps Isner can get some success on clay too here after a pretty poor season.
- Gimeno-Traver (if he plays or qualifies)
- Pablo Andujar
- Joao Sousa
- Kevin Anderson
- Fernando Verdasco
PS. Dolgopolov to take out Fognini in the first round 😉
What do you guys think? Who is winning this one?