Madrid Men’s Draw: Top Seeded Federer Could Face Nadal In SFs; Can Rafa Get Back On Track?
by Sean Randall | May 1st, 2015, 2:15 pm
  • 97 Comments

Spain’s biggest tennis event kicks off this weekend in Madrid with loaded men’s and women’s tournaments. Novak Djokovic opted out of the extravaganza to rest – smart move, I think – leaving Rafael Nadal with the perfect opportunity to get his game and confidence back. And I think he should like the draw.

First Quarter
From the top, Roger Federer returns as a top seed at a big time tourney (sorry Istanbul) for the first time in a while (or so it seems). The draw, though, is full of problems. His path could begin with the streaky showman Nick Kyrgios, then John Isner before in-form Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals. The big Czech also has a tough road with an Ivo Karlovic/Richard Gasquet winner to start, then maybe JW Tsonga. Both Roger and Tomas have played well in Madrid – they met in the final a few years ago in 2012 – so I do expect them to get through. But based on form I like Berdych here. I mean, Federer did have to go three sets against Daniel Gimeno-Traver today, right? That’s not a good sign in my book.
The pick: Tomas Berdych

Second Quarter
With Djokovic watching from home, no one needs this win more than Nadal. After a lopsided loss to Djokovic in Monte Carlo then another stunning defeat to Fabio Fognini in Barcelona, Rafa is flat-out desperate to prove not only to his fans but also to himself that’s he’s still the man on clay. So this is it. And I like his draw. He should coast out to the quarters where I think he’ll meet Stan Wawrinka, who’ll get through Grigor Dimitrov. Stan can be tough but he’s been struggling of late, so in front of his home fans I think Rafa won’t disappoint again.
The pick: Rafael Nadal

Third Quarter
David Ferrer v Kei Nishikori? Take your pick because based on the draw I think they’ll meet in the quarters. Nishikori leads 7-4 but Ferrer won their most recent meeting in Acapulco. Though Kei had won five in a row including a semifinal win in Madrid a year ago. Given recent form, Kei just won Barcelona (again) so I’m taking the hotter man.
The pick: Kei Nishikori

Fourth Quarter
What a wide open final quarter with a bunch of guys that are hard to trust on this surface. Andy Murray, Gael Monfils, Nicolas Almagro, Milos Raonic, Feliciano Lopez and Juan Monaco, all of whom can do well just as easily as get bounced. Murray’s the favorite but he’s never won a clay event. Almagro or Lopez, are the Spanish picks, but really, are they title threats? Monaco is steady. Raonic will be tough in the altitude but he’s coming off a foot injury, otherwise I might lean his way. And then there’s Monfils who’s been playing really well of late. This one really is too tough to pick! Anyone of these guys could get through. And anyone could lose early. But I’ll go…
The pick: Gael Monfils

So in my SFs I have:
SF: Nadal d Berdych; Nishikori d Monfils
The rematch is set. Nadal is too strong for Tomas and gets revenge for Australia, while Nishikori shows his maturity getting back to the final by beating Monfils.

F: Nishikori d Nadal
However, Rafa’s struggles continue as his poor court positioning and lack of depth get exposed again.


You Might Like:
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Wimbledon Men’s Draw Preview: Nadal Falls With Federer, Murray In Quarter Of Death
Kuznetsova Upset, Serena Williams Headlines Loaded Field at WTA Madrid
Rome Preview: Djokovic, Federer Look To Get Back On Track On Rafa’s Turf

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97 Comments for Madrid Men’s Draw: Top Seeded Federer Could Face Nadal In SFs; Can Rafa Get Back On Track?

mat4 Says:

Guess I am out of my mind: I voted Murphy to win it all.


elina Says:

Cilic for the title. (French Open too!)


akin keskin Says:

if there is federer on court! i can not say Berdych is favorite!
that s funny! yeah of course Berdych can win! but not favorite
we ll see it together!


Daniel Says:

Nadal’s draw looks good. Can’t see him losing to Johnson, neither Tomic or Anderson and neither Wawrinka in Quarters who may not even reach that far. Than Fed in semis, by the time he gets there he will be pumped up.

Maybe only in finals if it’s Kei or Murray (who if reaches final will be in excellent form).

Fed’s draw seems brutal.


Matador Says:

Is Nadal time to rise again!


lapinroyal Says:

Who is wining? Nole of course…

It’s time for Roger to have a revenge on clay against Rafa. It’s about time! (LOL) Am I wrong to say that Roger is the only bagel Rafa on clay?

Kei is scary. So Kei>Roger


jane Says:

elina, interesting: i believe kat-h said the exact same.


elina Says:

Turkey is nothing but a tune up for Roger where he can try different things and adjust to clay. Nothing but a preface in my book.

Until Nadal shows otherwise (read Paris), he is not too strong for anyone, only himself. Anyone who loses to Fognini twice in a row should not be assumed to win his quarter.

Nishikori over Roger is the call here.


chris ford1 Says:

For tennis to grow as a pro sport, some fans have to get away from the notion that outside the revered “Slams”, throughout the year, the rest of the tournaments are just tuneups. For just the 4 events.

And there is slowly but surely a move away from the Sampras/Fed fan notion that only “Slam Count” matters in assessing the success of a player’s career.

Most of the Masters, some 500s, the WTF, Davis Cup, and Olympics offer the same players, playing the same high quality tennis, as in the sacred Slams….
And bring huge tennis loving nations, regions in continents, sometimes whole continents lacking a Slam, into a sense that it is THEIR sport as well. Not just for France and 3 nations in the Anglosphere.
Many contests in Madrid and Rome promise to be exciting. Hopefully a classic or two will happen.


jalep Says:

Do you also think Chris Ford1 that GS events should be played over a 3 set format, or masters 1000 should go back to the 5 set format? Because the way it is now still does make a GS more of a crowning achievement.

Not saying I am at all one of those who thinks GS count only matters.


sienna Says:

it has always been the same.

For tennis fans it is about the whole tour but to catch attention as a sport competing with other events the slams are miles away.

garros/Wimbledon increased tournement winnings again with 8%.
dont get carried away with master events. They are fun to follow but history is made with slams.


Humble Rafa Says:

Someone is going to have a worse clay court season than me. Trust me.


jalep Says:

Since La Monf is saving his best for court Chartrier, I’ll pick Murray to win his quarter and reveal his inner clay chops by defeating Rafa in the final.


Matador Says:

Murray in the final of Madrid, on clay?
Lmao!


Muhammed Says:

So Matador is laughing his ass off because somebody thinks (me too) that Andy can perform well on the high altitude fast Madrid clay. So easily amused, lucky you.


jalep Says:

Matador. Makes me happy you lmao’d.


jalep Says:

Thanks Muhammed.Madrid’s altitude does not make it his best clay masters. I was thinking of that and the fact that if not for Kei’s injury last year my speculation is that Kei would have won. Something has me doubting Kei will win his quarter- I think Ferrer will. Rafa is vulnerable right now…

Murray d. Ferrer.
Murray d. Rafa


Matador Says:

How many finals has Murray on clay? Lol
Even tho, how many sf has the Scottish in Madrid, on clay?
NONE
This is Sir Andy Murray on clay, or can we call him, “Clayray! Lmao!


chris ford1 Says:

Jalep – I know the theory that the sacred Slams are so, made prestigious by the extra sets. Except of course many Masters were best of 5 as well, and Olympics. Transition was to best of 3 outside DC and Slams in 2008.
More physical game, and market polling saying viewers don’t want to sit through 4 hr matches in early rounds.
And the women always playing their 1-1 1/2 hour two or three set match, in Slams, and everywhere else.


Yolita Says:

I think Rafa will beat Kei in the final and be ready for Rome.

And then, I am hoping we’ll get Rafa and Novak at their best in the last two clay evens of the season.

That is my wish.


jalep Says:

CF1. Okay. I guess you’re saying that it would be good for tennis to do away with the GS format as it is for men’s tennis because fans don’t want to watch more than 2 or 3 sets. Maybe you are right.

I like to see who is the fittest and can win a best of 5 at least 4 times a year. But I’m not the average American tennis fan and perhaps in a minority. It has nothing to do with ‘sacred’ anything. It’s about sport…who is the best on the tour in endurance and sustain their level of tennis the highest.


jalep Says:

Oh early rounds you say – especially no 5 setters. I get your point there …maybe.


jalep Says:

But have no idea what you’re saying about WTA matches.


jane Says:

i agree with you jalep; i love the 5 set format, and in fact would love to keep it for all men’s slam matches and even institute it for women’s finals, at the very least, if not semis too.


jalep Says:

jane. Agree with you! And abought having WTA GS finals played over 5 sets too ; )


Mark Anderson Says:

Lopsided loss to Djokovic, did you watch the match?


SnotNosedKid Says:

Betcha Nadal could take any one of them at poker though.


chris ford1 Says:

Real fans always want “more” of their fave I want 16 2-hour episodes of Game of Thrones each year. HBO and the producers say, to maintain the quality and flow of the narrative viewers get 10 one-hour episodes instead.
Sports without a time clock have to watch that the 4 to 6-hour contest rarely happens, though some are held “cherished”. The leisure doesn’t exist for many to watch an American baseball game that goes 25 innings, or watch a marathon from start to end as the last “inspirational” runner crosses the line . And certainly, the media and sponsors are appalled at ratings drop and scheduling messes caused by excessively long contests.

And if every tennis tournament went to 5 sets just for the Final, maybe the semis, in the hard physical game tennis has become, it would lower the better players chance of success compared to fresher foes that earlier departed in 3 sets or less. And unless you are an Ironman like Fed, Ferrer, or Djokovic – more sets translates into a higher incidence of exhaustion and injury.


sienna Says:

WTA best of 5?
what a nightmare that would be!


KatH Says:

Andy Murray would have to be super fit and especially well rested to achieve anything much at Madrid –

as mentioned on a different thread, given that today (Saturday) Andy is playing a quarter final at Munich, if he wins it, he plays a semi final 2 hours later — then plays a doubles 2 hours after that – yes it’s only a 250 Tournament – but it is still 3 matches – he’ll be wiped out.


the DA Says:

This Murray-Rosol match has been filed with drama. Rafa fans will appreciate the testy exchange between Andy and Lukas. More later.


Margot Says:

@KatH
Depends how long they are, and doubles isn’t that taxing.
Could he start Wednesday at Madrid?


Margot Says:

@ the DA
Just caught the very end and saw Andy coming forwards and being aggressive. Yay!
Do tell. Don’t like Rosol and his stupid leg tattoo anyway.


the DA Says:

@Margot – Andy charged up 4-2 in the first set and had a BP for 5-2 but then went walkabout and Lukas took the 1st set. On the way to his seat he aggressively bumped Andy’s shoulder. When he mentioned it to Mourier Rosol called Andy some curse word (unconfirmed which one). Andy then said “no one likes you the tour. Everyone hates you”. This pissed off Andy so much that he found his focus and ended winning relatively trouble free. Drama.


Miles Nicholas Says:

Yet again Chris Ford tries to diminish Federer’s achievements! A much better measure than majors of a player’s dominance in any era is the number of weeks spent at number 1 – how do Nadal and Djokovic compare to Federer in that regard?!


jalep Says:

Hahaha…wish I could have watched Andy and Rosol. Murphy does rise to such an occasion @DA!


sienna Says:

if Murray did act that way then he is even less sportmanlike then people give him credit for. lowballer.


KatH Says:

Yep Margot, Jane and Jalep – “What fun at oor hoose” – Bjorkman said he wanted Andy to be more aggressive, so the wee lad was only doing what he was told…


the DA Says:

@jalep – You’d think that players (and French crowds) should know by now: antagonize Andy at your peril! It always galvanizes him into raising his game and he usually wins just to prove a point. :)


jalep Says:

Well said, DA!
Score was 46 63 62 Andy.
His nextra opponent is Roberto Bautista-Agut, who beat Estrella Burgos 46 60 60.

BBA can be a tough out.


jalep Says:

Nextra. There’s a new word.


Margot Says:

Lol everyone!
Go Mad Murphy!
RBA good on clay. Good work out coming.


Giles Says:

Rosol bumped Andy’s shoulder? Lol. Was it the same way he bumped Rafa’s shoulder for which Rafa got the blame. No two ways about it, Rosol is a shoulder bumper!


jalep Says:

BBA off to a fast start but Andy broke back and their on serve …if Andyou can hold. He does. 3 all.


jalep Says:

Andy breaks BBA to love. Including a stylish lob. 4-3 Andy


jalep Says:

4th set point Murphy.


jalep Says:

BBA got a time violation and took even more time to towel himself off. Andy had him on the ropes until that drama.

BBA held. Now get this done Andy!


jalep Says:

Got it! 6-4 Andy.


Margot Says:

Nice play from Andy and lots of sightings of Jonas…well wrapped up against the Spring, sorry Winter, weather ;)


jalep Says:

I do like BBA, Margot. He’s a class act.

Andy has to remain alert!


Margot Says:

I like most players jalep……..except when they’re playing Andy of course. Am especially liking A’s ROS to day and his willingness to come forward at any opportunity.
Way To Go Jonas!


Margot Says:

Some lovely play from Andy, really hotting up!
A sweet, sweet backhand to pass RBA at the net, amongst others.


jalep Says:

Me too – like most players. What I don’t like is Tennis Channel. They switched from Munich to Estoril. Now following scores on atp.


Margot Says:

Bloody infuriating!


jalep Says:

Proper abbrevity should be RBA. To myself I call him Bobby.BA.


jalep Says:

Yay! Murray!


the DA Says:

Yippee! After that awkward start Andy played great. RBA is no pushover but he totally perplexed him with the gamut of spins and shots in his armory. First clay final. Weird times.


Margot Says:

Surprisingly easy for Andy.He was moving soooo well I thought.
Bobby Socks needs to be 6″ taller I guess.
@katH
You may well be right, Andy did look a bit knackered at the end of that. Hope Julien (?) is prepared to do most of the leg work in the dubs.
Meanwhile I see Fed dropped a set to….. who? ;)


jalep Says:

Abrevity…abbreviation.
Their was supposed to be they’re. My laptops will be back Monday, thank god.


Margot Says:

Lol DA
Tsk! Tsk! I hope you don’t mean its “weird” cos Murphy wins a match..;)


the DA Says:

@Margot – Of course. Everyone knows that someone called Murphy isn’t going to know a thing about clay – unless his first name is Manuel ;)


jalep Says:

Federer could barely win the Gimeno-Traver match. Watched that one. He’s playing Diego Schwartzman!


Margot Says:

@The DA
Lol. First clay court final YAY! Who gives a FF that it’s a 250? Not me!


Daniel Says:

Murray is through, now is Fed time. Double match point. He better take it and not go to tiebreak.

Yeah, he gets it. Fed and Murray contesting titles in European ATP 250 clay tomorrow, nice!


Daniel Says:

jalep, at least he win both close three setters. He is making too many errors still but his overall strategy is good. He is going too much to BH DTL and missing long, maybe with time he will fine tune that shot.


jalep Says:

Kohlscreiber has the fitness to play 2 matches today and make the final tough. He’ll have home court support. Surprised Gerald Meltzer made this semi.

Go Mad Murphy!


jalep Says:

@Daniel. Yes indeed. What I watched yesterday from Federer made my eyes hurt! And I see by score results he won. But 3 sets to bear Schwartzman?

Hope you are right about fine tuning the bhdtl and…his focus? Shot selection? Maybe he’s mainly out there for practice.


Daniel Says:

Giles,

That time Nadal bumped and lost, today Rosol bumped and lost. Looks like bumping is not good tactics:-)

It’s clear for everyone to see, Rosol even stoped and Nadal lost open p his shoulder, some fans don’t see the obvious…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klQnRrkl-S8


Daniel Says:

…Nadal almost opened his shoulder…


the DA Says:

Melzer is really taking it to Kohls. Up a break. Oddly enough, many of his shots look similar to Jurgen’s – and he’s also a leftie.


the DA Says:

@Margot – “Who gives a FF that it’s a 250?”

LOL. Indeed. But you know we have to prepare for the asterisk mob don’t you?


sienna Says:

Andy Murphy thinking he really can take down Mayweather by picking a fight with youngster Rosol.


Margot Says:

@the DA
Well, do Mad Murphy’s fans actually gives a FF about the * brigade anyway?
Forged in the fire of “even Murray” us bro.


sienna Says:

randalf and steve tignor have filled the same bracket challenge.

where are the conspiracy thinkers when you need them.


Giles Says:

Daniel. You’re not making any sense. Never mind …….


Margot Says:

Looks as if the dubs is a match too far for Andy.
And the other pair are a very experienced partnership.
Ah well.


Lewis Says:

Regardless of the current ranking, with Nolo withdrawn from Madrid now, there is no doubt that Kei is the hottest and in the best form now. If he can perform similarly to what he did n Barcelona, he can win the tournament for sure.


Giles Says:

https://twitter.com/nycsandygirl/status/594503306791256065
What’s Rosol’s problem? Oh yes, I know, he’s mental! Idiot!


jalep Says:

got my laptop back! yay! no more freaking auto correct! I see Pablo Cuevas beat Dimitrov…

Federer v. Pablo Cuevas Final
David Murreno v. Kohlschreiber


Giles Says:

Who is David Murreno? Is this yet another new name for Andy Murray?? Lol


Margot Says:

Lol Giles, so much for jalep’s laptop!
Think this is a name too far!


Margot Says:

But I know jalep is “Spanishising” Andy’s name in honour of first clay final…;)


jalep Says:

Yes, I lost my mind in a moment of excitement imagining Murray winning his first of many clay titles to come. Murdasco. first came to mind. I guess Fernando Murdasco. Couldn’t think what the Spanish equivalent for Andy was. Andreo? Alejandro?


jalep Says:

And why doesn’t Tennis-x have a thread for Madrid WTA draw? The WTA main draw early rounds are well underway. Watched Wozniacki this morning and now Sharapova v Bacsinszky.


Margot Says:

Andres with acute over “e.”
Rain, rain, rain in Munich :( Bad for Kohls, doesn’t have a bye in Madrid.


Margot Says:

jalep, did you see Simona went out Cornet :( Think her back must still be bad. Go Angelique1


jalep Says:

No-happy I didn’t see it. She’s been playing a lot. Needs some time off to get healthy.

Right now Tennis Channel is showing Sharapova :(

And I think Andy’s match has started? I’m cranky about the having to take laptop back ..didn’t do it right. And I think TC is going to focus on Estoril so will have to follow Munich scores. Complain, complain…so much hype here about Kyrgios.


Margot Says:

Well, at the mo., Gasquet is showing Kyrgios how to play tennis.
Dunno about Andy, last time I looked they were lurking in the dressing room.
Jonas has tweeted if they don’t start by 5.30 match will be cancelled.


Margot Says:

Ah, “warming up.” ;)


madmax Says:

I think it is incredible that the voters believe Kei will win Madrid.

I never expected that one!


Sidney Says:

Andrew = Andres in Spanish


Wog Boy Says:

Wow …I know Nishikori is good, but is he that good to deserve to have more votes than Roger and Rafa have together?


Margot Says:

Lol Sydney, see me at 10.23?


Margot Says:

^ 10.21. rather.


Michael Says:

It is too early to call. But Sean has made his picks and based on his past predictions which have rarely turned right, one may not take it very seriously and neither it has to be rejected in a callous manner. I think the non participation of Novak is a great loss to the Organizers and reduced the glamour of this tournament. That said, many players are happy with his non-participation, for it has given them the opportunity and lee way to make the best out of it. It is too hard to conjecture the likely favourites in this tournament. One has to wait and watch as to how the tournament progresses to call any player.


django Says:

Like soderling he cant seem to get better.

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