ATP Masters 1000Mutua Madrid OpenRoger FedererTennis Predictions

Tough draw in Madrid for Roger Federer

So the Madrid draw is out and Roger has a pretty tough draw facing either Milos Raonic or David Nalbandian in his opening match.

Raonic is fast improving and is coming off the back of a victory against Andy Murray in Barcelona. The Canadian could well prove to be a tough match for Roger but before jumping the gun he first has to get past Nalbandian. Nalbandian is always dangerous and does arguably posses the right sort of game to nullify the style of Raonic whether he's fit enough to do so remains to be seen.

After that Roger looks likely to face Richard Gasquet who he lost to last year in the Rome Masters, then his Quarter final match would be against Ferrer, he'd then have to get past Djokovic before likely facing Nadal in the final.

Elsewhere in the draw Djokovic has it pretty easy with matches likely to be against Feliciano Lopez and fellow countryman Janko Tipsarevic. Nadal once again has an easy draw with only Berdych likely to cause him in any problems before he makes the final. With the news of Murray's withdrawal due to a back injury it means Tsonga is the highest seeded player in the remaining quarter, he will likely face Isner and Del Potro (who I fancy to perform well here).

Federer in a cold Madrid
Federer in a cold Madrid

Predictions for Federer

Although a tough opening match regardless of who he plays I'm confident Roger can get through, he usually tends to perform well whenever he has a tough opening match and he always does well in Madrid (he's made the semi's or better the last 6 times he's played.) I guess he'd prefer to play Nalbandian as a match against Raonic could results in 2 tie breaks which can easily go either way.

I doubt Gasquet will pose too much of a threat, last years loss in Rome wasn't a meaningul result. The toughest match is probably Ferrer, he's always dangerous on clay and really should have beaten Nadal in Barcelona.

Then the semi's against Djokovic and a final against Nadal become some what of a lottery so I won't be predicting those until/if he gets there.

Paths to the final for the Top 4 Seeds

[1] Djokovic: bye, qualifier, [13] Lopez/Wawrinka, [9] Simon/[7] Tipsarevic, [3] Federer

[2] Nadal: bye, Karlovic, [15] Verdasco, [6] Berdych, [8] Isner/[10] Del Potro/[4] Tsonga

[3] Federer: Bye, Raonic/Nalbandian, [14] Gasquet, [5] Ferrer, [1] Djokovic

[4] Tsonga: bye, Harrison, [16] Dolgopolov/Andujar, [8] Isner/[10] Del Potro, [2] Nadal

Rogers first match is on Wednesday, not sure on the time but I'll be posting a match report as usual straight after.

I also want to add that I think the blue clay is cool, Nadal is already moaning about it as usual, but I think it's good to mix it up and try something new. He hasn't even played on it yet properly and he's already writing it off. Due to his persistent moaning I hope the ATP convert the French Open into a fast hard court tournament and then make the grass at Wimbledon play like it did in the 90's.

Oh and if you're interested here's the full draw in a .pdf so you can work out all possible permutations.


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. It seems Roger almost always gets the more difficult draw but I feel this is a good thing because it forces Federer to speed up his level of play and keeps him motivated. I guess the down side to this is having to play a tough match against Ferrer expending some of his energy before facing Novak and then if he defeats Novak, hopefully have enough energy to defeat Nadal or Del Potro. Too much to think about, one match at a time. Nadal has a cupcake draw and so does Nole but what else is new. I am disappointed that Murray withdrew, at least he would have made this tournament more interesting and make Nadal work for his win. Anyways, expect to see some great playing from Roger. I hope this break is a blessing in disguise.

    1. Yeah too true Dave. Who you reckon he will play? Raonic or Nalbandian?

      Nadal always seems to get easy draws, hopefully Berdych can do some damage in this quarter.

      I’m just looking forward to seeing Fed back on court, seems like an eternity since he last played.

  2. We all know the favourite is Rafa for obvious reasons but I think Roger’s chances are quite good as well. This clay court is really fast and the bounce is low. He’s had some rest by taking a pass for Monte-Carlo, the court suits his style (as opposed to the other Master Series clay courts and Roland Garros), and he’s won it before over Rafa in 2009 so there’s no reason to not believe in him.

    I reserve my thoughts as to whether the blue clay is a good or bad idea until I’ve seen some matches (Roger’s matches!) but what Rafa has said is not pointless. All I can say is that the blue clay is something new and well…to be honest, weird haha! I still prefer the good ‘ol red clay!!

    Anyways, as always let’s support our champ – Allez Roger!!

    Cheers! 😀

    1. Yeah Madrid is the best clay tourney for Fed by a mile. The altitude makes it play much faster. Like you mentioned about the bounce, I saw Djokovic tweeting saying it kept really low on the slice, which surely plays to Feds strengths.

      Everyone seems to be anti blue clay, I like it though! It looks cool and makes a change.

      Allez les suisse!

  3. I think the blue clay looks different but cool. A little change doesn’t hurt. I thinking it’s a great marketing idea and look at all the publicity revolving Madrid. To answer your question, I think Nalbandian is going to win against Raonic. I believe Roger had his hands full for this one.

    1. Yeah it definitely looks more appealing on the eye. Apparently there’s a pink clay court in Roland Garros for charity. Not gonna be used for play though.#

      Tough to predict Raonic & Nalbandian. Think I’m with you that Fat Dave will do it though. Guess Roger will prefer that outcome.

  4. Hi there,

    As for your question, I feel somewhat that Raonic will take out Nalbandian… don’t really know why, it just seems that the big servers (I mean tall, heavy) seem to do alright on clay courts, and I fancy the altitude to make a difference. Tough one, but Raonic in three is my bet.
    It seems to be a tough draw, but like everyone else on here has been saying, what’s new? Rafa DOES get the easy draws, and certain routes such as US Open 2010 spring to mind. Either way, I fancy FedEx to keep the results coming, and reach the semi final, and as you say, Djoker is a toss-up, really. It’s obvious he has the game to beat the world No. 1, but will Djoker simply get everything back a la Nadal?

    What do you think, Jonathan?

    1. I think Nalbandian might just edge it, he has the style of game that can do quite well against big servers.

      I think Roger will make semis, then who knows, Djokovic is also rested after withdrawing from Serbia, I’d fancy Fed to beat him though, especially if the courts do keep low.

      Anyway, lets take it 1 round at a time and see what happens…

  5. Jonathan–you are the 1st one to agree w/me that Ferrer should have and could have beaten Rafa! He “had him” but his head got in the way! Rafa will be thinking about the blue clay & distracted a bit (like if he steps on a line or his bottles are not in proper placement) so that’s an advantage for all. Both he & Nole are not playing up to par but Fed will come back ready to win no matter who he faces. When I was in IW watching Roger beat Roanic with the flu even though his 140+ serves were difficult for Roger (as he was weak), he managed to beat him. Roger likes a challenge so his focus will have to be “on” when he returns as we know he has the talent to beat anyone. Love the blue clay and will be much easier for us to watch and see the ball. Excellent to have our Roger back; tennis is so lackluster w/o him in it. Allez Roger; we are all behind you!

    1. Hey Kathleen,

      Yeah I thought Ferrer should have at the least got a set, he was on top for so many periods in the match. Inevitable he lost though, all fellow Spaniards bow down to King Rafa.

      Glad I’m not the only one who likes blue clay, I never even thought of making the ball easier to see but you’re right. It’s tough to see on tv when the courts are red.


  6. Jon, I think Raonic is going to have a tough time with Nalbandian. I think he is one of the cleanest ball strikers in the game and is usually pretty good in the early rounds of a tournament. Let see how it pans out.

  7. Hmm. I think Nalbandian will beat Raonic in straight sets even though it will be close, I don’t see Raonic maintaining his high form early this season, anyone can upset him, Hewitt did, and David has a similar playing style. If Fed can beat David convincingly, there’s no doubt he will make the final.

    1. Hey man,

      Yeah good point on Hewitt beating Raonic. Nalbandian has good returns and hits very clean so should cause Raonic problems.

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