ATP Masters 1000Mutua Madrid OpenRoger Federer

Madrid Open Draw 2015: Federer & Nadal in Same Half

No sooner had I finished my Istanbul quarter final post than the Madrid Open draw comes out ๐Ÿ™‚ . First thoughts are it looks pretty tough for Federer who is now the Number 1 seed after Djokovic's decision to skip the event and rest for Rome and the French Open.

As I expected he's in Nadal's half which isn't necessarily a bad thing but looking at the opponents he may face to make the last four it doesn't make good reading, you can check out his projected opponents below:

Federer's Projected Opponents

  • 1st Round: Bye
  • 2nd Round: Nick Kyrgios
  • 3rd Round: John Isner / Jeremy Chardy
  • Quarter Final: Tomas Berdych
  • Semi Final: Rafael Nadal
  • Final: Andy Murray / Kei Nishikori

Full. PDF draw

Thoughts on the Draw

Federer Madrid Blue Clay

First up is the new Aussie hope Nick Kyrgios, he's performed well at some of the Grand Slams making two quarter finals already but is yet to win a title on the ATP Tour. That may change this week though as he's in the semi finals in Estoril and he could provide a tough test for Roger should they meet. He already has one top 10 scalp to his name when he defeated Nadal at Wimbledon last year so it will be interesting to see how he matches up against Federer. I'd give Fed the edge but it's definitely not the type of match where he can ease his way into the tournament. Lukcily the match practice in Istanbul could prove useful for hitting the ground running in Madrid.

The third round could see Federer face Jeremy Chardy whom he dispatched comfortably in Monte Carlo at the start of April. Also in the mix is John Isner who should well on the quicker clay of Madrid with his serve but he's never been past the 3rd Round of a Clay Masters 1000.

The quarter finals is where it gets difficult as the in form Berdych could be the man that awaits. Berdych played well in Monte Carlo but again couldn't cross the line in a final against one of the Big 3; Quarter Finals are very much his speciality though and on clay he can be a real danger as he hits the ball huge. He also enjoys the matchup with Federer and it's never an enjoyable watch for the faint-hearted Fed fan contingent ๐Ÿ™‚

Should Federer make the semi's then Nadal is the seeded opponent and he has a slightly easier path through with only really Dimitrov or Wawrinka the ones that look capable of stopping him. Anderson has the game to cause an upset but with his questionable play under pressure it's hard to see him getting it done even against a low on confidence Nadal.

The final is then seeded to be against Murray, Nishikori or Ferrer. I'd give Nishikori the edge considering he looked in great form in Barcelona and made the final in Madrid last year. He'll surely be keen to go one better too because only an injury stopped him winning it last year when he was owning Nadal.


  • Nishikori to make the final
  • Raonic to defeat Murray
  • Verdasco to take out Ferrer

So a tough draw on paper on Fed but it only takes one or two odd results to change things dramatically. What do you guys think? How much do his Madrid chances hinge on the outcome of Istanbul?


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!! I believe it’s my first time!
    Thank you Jonathan, you made me feel lucky, this is going to be a good day!
    Despite that awful draw!!!

      1. The first one wasn’t that clear it seemed so I didn’t actually count i!!! This one is a clean one!

  2. Podium finish!

    I thought the draw was a joke. Tough one for Fed but not surprised any more as it’s a 1000. Hope he gets through at least to face possibly Rafa for a change. Thanks for the post Jonathan, you’re working hard!

    1. Yeah maybe he should just play a 250 or a Challenger instead ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I think Berdych is the toughest opponent in there, always plays well against Fed.

  3. Thanks for the post Jonathan – this *is* a tough one but hopefully Feds will be a little sharper as he enters this, and he has done well at this tournament in the past – aah, blue clay, RIP. Kyrgios is lucky to have made SF at Estoril; strictly speaking he had three code violations in his match against Ramos and should have been out. I saw some of that match and K was serving well (of course), but he is wild and gets frustrated easily so we’ll see how he deals with Federer. Of course he’ll be looking for another big scalp.

    1. Ah I didn’t know that about the code violations. Can count himself lucky but it’s not good when the rules aren’t enforced properly. Just reading about it now says Fergus Murphy missed him smash the ball out the stadium, not sure how you couldn’t see that though.

      1. Fergus Murphy’s hopeless. Ramos questioned him, and the reply was (I heard it, but I didn’t see it) pfft…he couldn’t possibly have missed it. Agree, rules should be enforced, then players know where they stand. But Nadal got away with time violations for years because the umpires didn’t have the balls to enforce them, so…

      2. The umpires have their balls, they just worries that Nadal will scratch it if they give him time violation. Once a scratcher, always a scratcher…

  4. Kyrgios will be interesting. They practiced last year on clay. He told later he took a set off Roger or something. Thats the first time he is facing the GOAT in a match so must have some nerves. + Roger loves schooling folks who grew up watching him.

    1. Yeah Kyrgios certainly has a dangerous game. Will depend on how they match up – Kyrgios vs Murray for example is an easy one for Murray. Not sure on Fedyios.

    2. Kyrgios will be extremely tricky as he’s one of those who gets high on big occasions.

      The draw is a joke and I can’t help but start wondering if there’s conspiracy against Roger or what? He’s always the one who gets the toughest.

  5. It’s an honour to share the podium with you guys!!
    About the draw, it’s alway going to be tough and you can’t be the best if you can’t beat the best. But what’s upsetting at some point is the desequilibrium between parts of the draw. Murray’s side is a joke!!!

    Amazing work Jonathan, as usually! This as been challenging but you proudly face the challenge and kept up with the news coming in! Thanks!!!
    We should all, fans, sign a petition to Roger so that he gives a special face to face interview to Jonathan for his blog… We might be able to get his attention? What do you think?

      1. Only coffee Jonathan, you should ask for lunch at least. And I’m second for VIP box Wanda. ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. I think I’ve done too much trolling on Twitter to get given the opportunity. Fed would agree to it then the Daily Mail would dig out a tweet of mine from 2 years ago that raises questions about the type of people he’s hanging around with ๐Ÿ˜†

    1. Are you serious ? Murray has for a scary draw. Monfils/ Raonic/ Nishikori. No way he survives that. Compared to Isner/ Berdych/ Nadal right now on form I think Murray has the tougher draw.

      1. Agree Ajay, Murray’s draw far tougher when you think about it: those three are tough, and remember that match against Monf at RG?. Depends on the knee for Monf, I think he’s been having problems again. Federer dealt with Berdy handily at IW, and of course Nadal is still a question mark, so if he doesn’t get involved in a long-winded match against Kyrgios or Isner, the draw might be a winner in the end.

      2. Berdych on clay bit of a different animal I think, can hit through the court whereas Fed can’t. Has to outwit him and move him about more…

  6. On the bright side, Roger will certainly play Rome if he loses early here.

    Btw, there are very few who have beaten a healthy Roger on their first match-up after 2003. Hardly 3-4 names spring to mind. I don’t think Kyrgios will be one of them!

  7. It’s a M1000, it’s supposed to be a strong field and a tough draw. Hopefully the fact that he has won a couple of tough matches in Istanbul will stand him in good stead, fan heart-stoppages notwithstanding. He apparently had “fun” again in the SF today, & talked about having to get used to playing on clay again, every point being a rally, & getting frustrated when he misses.

    If he’s going to face Nadal, I think I’d actually rather it’s before a final. If not – hard to see who might best the Mallorcan. Fognini, twice in a row? Wawrinka, who’s beaten him before but whose form has been atrocious? Steve JOHNson???

  8. Meant to say – agree with you, Jonathan, about Kei coming out of the other side. He’s looking quite good, & hasn’t defaulted with injuries this year (yet) as he did several times last year.

      1. I know the Ramen Noodles sponsorship was a deal breaker for you ๐Ÿ˜†

        Kei can be good to watch though. Foot speed combined with taking the ball mega early. He must be a nightmare to play.

        If I was ranking the current top 10 in order of watch ability it would be something like


        Of course plenty players outside the top 10 who’d displace players in that list. Kohlschreiber, Dustin Brown. Etc.

      2. Don’t exactly disagree with your list when it’s restricted to the top 10, as that’s the sad state in which tennis is right now. And yes, lots of players outside top 10 who are way more watchable. I’d prefer watching Lopez, or Chardy for example over Nishikori any day.

        For crying out loud, why did he have to go with Ramen noodles? Ramen noodles? And athlete promoting Ramen noodles??!? Ranks second worst to Nadal promoting Pokerstars.

      3. I would rather watch plenty of players more outside the top 10 than the ones in it. But more TV time and focus is on the top 10 so inevitably you see more of them and that’s my ordering.

        Ana Ivanovic promotes JuicePlus. I think some do Herbalife too, Verdasco used to. Pyramid schemes are considerably worse than Ramen or Poker ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. So, Roger faces Kyrgios: any thoughts?

    Ironically, I see that both Gimeno-Traver and Cuevas have been knocked out. I hope that’s the end of such results.

    1. Playing Fed must tire those guys out.

      Kyrgios hasn’t beaten anyone ranked higher than 23 since Nadal at Wimbledon. On paper it should be easy but you never know with him. I think if Kyrgios doesn’t serve a high % of 1st serves then he will struggle and get out manoeuvred.

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