No sooner had I finished my Istanbul quarter final post than the Madrid Open draw comes out 🙂 . 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
Thoughts on the Draw
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 🙂
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?