Federer Faces Kyrgios Wednesday In Madrid; 4-Time Champion Nadal Opens Title Defense
by Sean Randall | May 5th, 2015, 4:15 pm

Following a title in Istanbul Sunday, Roger Federer opens his dangerous draw in Madrid against the brash, exciting Aussie Nick Kyrgios in a must-see meeting.

Kyrgios, who I think is going to be part of the Top 10 by the end of next season, has proven he’s not afraid of the big stage, and with Roger having to adjust to the altitude and the conditions from Turkey, where he didn’t look particularly strong, is the 20-year-old primed to pull off the upset? It’s very possible.

“Roger is the greatest of all time,” said Kyrgios after beating Daniel Gimeno-Traver today. “I’m not going to do anything different to prepare. I’m just going to go out there, play my game and whatever happens, happens. If I go down, or if I win, I’m going to do it the same way as I always have.”

And that means Nick is going to go after it. That’s what makes him so good. He’s got the shots and the confidence. He just need belief in his body and better court smarts.

Federer is in the middle of a busy 3-week stretch of Istanbul-Madrid-Rome. If he goes deep this week, odds would be strong he would skip Rome. But a loss to Kyrgios would likely send Roger and co. to Italy.

Also tomorrow, struggling Rafael Nadal opens his title defense against steady American Steve Johnson. Nadal, a 2-time defending champion and 4-time winner, has got to be chomping at the bit after his worrisome start to the clay season. Johnson, though, is a pretty decent player. He’ll make Rafa work.

Another weekend winner was Andy Murray. Actually, Monday winner since his final against Phil Kohlschreiber wasn’t completed until yesterday. And guess what? They meet again Wednesday.

“I think that’s obviously tricky, because the conditions last week were very different to what they are here,” Murray said. “I think [there’s] a little bit more altitude here, but it’s been very warm, whereas last week it was very cold a lot of the days and raining.

“I practise this afternoon, and [I’m] just [going to] make the best of the time that I’ve got before my match tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll feel good tomorrow.”

Murray’s Munich win was his first ever on clay, and with Phil already getting a match under his belt today, the German could end Andy’s run.

Also today, youngsters Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov and Jack Sock all advanced. Frenchmen JW Tsonga, Richard Gasquet and Gael Monfils were winners as well.

Tennis Channel has full coverage of Madrid all week.

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70 Comments for Federer Faces Kyrgios Wednesday In Madrid; 4-Time Champion Nadal Opens Title Defense

ABerg Says:

The ‘decent’ and ‘steady’ Steve Johnson has exactly one career clay court win over a top 100 player. He defeated Donald Young few weeks ago.

skeezer Says:

Prediction: It will not be an upset…..or…it better not be hehe.

Geez Kyrgios meets Fed first up? Wowzeers!

elina Says:

Gasquet made Kyrgios look pedestrian on clay.

Prediction: It will not be an upset…..or…it better not be hehe.


tennismonger Says:

LOL – TX tries to hype Kyrgios vs. Fed…

Now if Kyrgios knew his way around a clay court, this would be interesting…BUT…alas, he does not.

skeezer Says:

Kyrgios is 4-2 in Clay this year, 5-3 on HC, so whine all you want. The guy has LOADS more talent than “decent’ and ‘steady’ Steve Johnson. LOL.

Hisyam Lee Says:

Interesting Kyrgios. He has proven his ability to transfer his grasscourt mastery into the clay, so far. Can’t wait to see him play at French Open.

TennisVagabond.com Says:

Kyrgios just made a clay final and is obviously in a stage of his career where we expect fast improvement. Its definitely a challenging match for Fed. I doubt Kyrgios had much grass court creed when he knocked out Rafa at Wimbledon, so don’t take him lightly.

ABerg’s comment says it all about Johnson. Rafa knows he can beat patsies. I actually think he needs a bit tougher comp to start to feel it again, but it will come.

Humble Rafa Says:

Smaller racquet is going to unleash a younger Humble and players would not know what hit them.

Yolita Says:

I have a terribly busy day tomorrow. What bad timing, with the fabulous schedule we have in Madrid. :-(

I will stay away form the internet and catch up with a couple of matches in the evening.

I envy the people who can spend the whole day watching tennis tomorrow. We are spoiled for choice.

Matador Says:

We want this match up on GRASS not on clay when Kyrgios is a nobody on this surface.

skeezer Says:

Weak try on minimizing the hype, but do your research. Nick is no slouch. Stevie Johnson is. LMAO.

Matador Says:

On clay both sucks, skezer.

Gordon Says:


Good piece, but (and I hate to be this picky, but this one really niggles me) a small correction from the equestrian phrase you chose to use –

It’s “champing at the bit,” not “chomping at the bit.” Many make this error.

Margot Says:

Kyrgios sounded as if he was giving birth when he played Gasquet. And a bit too much playing to the gallery for my taste.
Not feeling the lerve, I’m afraid.

TennisVagabond.com Says:

Matador, why are you anxious to denigrate Kyrgios on clay? He is 4-2 this season with a runner-up on clay.

That is more match wins this season on clay than 25-year old Johnson has had IN HIS CAREER.

elina Says:

None of Kyrgios’ wins on clay have been against a Top 60 player. For that matter, none of his hard court wins this year have been against a Top 40 player.

Agree with Matador. Both players are quite poor on clay. Both will lose in straight sets.

Move along. Nothing to see here folks.

Wog Boy Says:

It looks like Cilic’s mother stoped buying him those pills over the counter.

tennismonger Says:

Trash talk aside, nice opportunities for both Kyrgios & Johnson…

skeezer Says:

nice opportunity for Nick.
there is no opportunity in the other beatdown…errr….match, if anyone wants to call it that.

elina Says:

Roger in two losing eight games or less.

Same for Nadal.

Still a nice opportunity for both Kyrgios and Johnson agreed.

FedExpress Says:

Vika azarenka prodcued one of the epic chokes in recent history

serves for the match at 6-5 against serena. leads 40-0. 3 DFs in a row and gets broken. TB was never in doubt for serena

will take time to recover from this meltdown

jane Says:

who is steve johnson? i’d not heard of him before all this talk on here; has he had some big recent wins or something?

ABerg Says:

Johnson came through NCAA, like Isner and Kevin Anderson. Solid modern American tennis player (big serve, big forehand, heavier body than an average tennis player).

He played other modern American tennis players all his life and he does well against big serve/big forehand types on HC.

TennisVagabond.com Says:

Wow FedExpress, thanks for that update. Please, more details!

skeezer Says:

“has he had some big recent wins or something?”
NO. Here is more info if your interested:

jane Says:

thanks skeezer and Aberg; surprised i haven’t heard of him considering he was as high as 37 at one point.

interesting that you say this, Aberg “he does well against big serve/big forehand types”, since almost all of his losses this season seem to have come against big serve/forehand players (anderson, berdych, karlovic…). two decent losses to nishikori, though. i.e., not total blowouts. these ncaa players are often later developers; maybe he still can move up?

SG1 Says:

Seem Johnson play a little. He’s not slow from what I remember but somehow, he looks a little “heavy-footed” compared to the better guys.

SG1 Says:

“Saw Johnson play a little…not seem” oops

Daniel Says:

Federer survived first set with excellent play by the end of the set. But both are serving poorly.

Fed started great second set but was broken again. Tense match.

Daniel Says:

Madrid really doesn’t play like a regular clay court, a lot of fast paced rally. Balls fly through the air and game is way more fast than other clay courts.

ckr Says:

In the first set – Kyrgios got off to a great start and served for the set. Now it’s 4-4 in second. Hope Nick atleast gets a set to build his confidence. I have never thought off him as clay court player. Looks like he is not bad after all. I always thought, he would be great on fast hard courts and Grass.

Margot Says:

1 set each now. Interesting.

jane Says:

kind of a serving contest now? am only looking at scores so don’t know.

jane Says:

what’s the context of the comment; what circus is he talking about?

FedExpress Says:

Just No

tennismonger Says:

Well I’ll be gobsmacked!

Skeezer called this one…

Nikki took full advantage of his opportunity –

Carpe Diem indeed…

jane Says:

maybe nick does deserve the hype? wins over both federer and nadal now, at a masters and slam respectively. but he’ll have to maintain consistency to live up to any truly deserved hype. many players get occasional upsets.

Daniel Says:

Damm, didn’t saw the third setbut looking scores it was a nail bitter. 3 tiebreaks with possible multiple MP’s form both players.

Great win for Kyrgios who is deliveribg beating the big guys. Now he has a chance against Isner as well and possibly against Berdych / Tsonga on quarters.

No Fedal once again:-(

RZ Says:

I guess we’ll be seeing Fed in Rome since he lost early in Madrid.

the DA Says:

@Jane – It wasn’t directed toward Nick it was a comment about a spate of very poor line calls – for both players. I normally find his humor dorky but that’s the funniest comment ever.

Anyway, that was a fabulous match. Lots of tension and great hitting. NK is the real deal. He just needs to cut down the muttering and potty stuff (sound like anyone?). Andy has handled him well twice – has Nole played him yet?

Roger fought hard and acquitted himself well. I think Rome is ecstatic about this result, he’ll probably go there now.

Lastly, I’m relishing this particular slice of karma. The posters know who they are. What goes around comes around. ;)

TennisVagabond.com Says:

Kyrgios has the talent and mental toughness to leapfrog Milos and Kei this year. They may go down as “The Slamless Generation”

And I say that as a fan of Kei and Milos!

Purcell Says:

What point are you trying to make Giles?

lapinroyal Says:

This kid is going far… He reminds me of Jo WT, if Nick can avoid hurting himself.

jalep Says:

I’m also a fan of Milos and Kei. Didn’t see the matches today. But not surprising to me that Federer lost to Kyrgios. He strikes me as a big match player who maybe gets on a roll especially when playing the top guys. It’s a great win for Kyrgios…maybe I need to start taking him seriously. We’ll see how he does in his next match. Does he play Isner?

Giles Says:

Purcell. Read the DA. He explains it very well.

Margot Says:

Wow! Well played Nick. Very tight tie break to decide the match. He’s got good nerves that kid and knows no fear, which sure helps!
has played Andy. Has he played Nole yet?

Wog Boy Says:

Everybody is playing more freely when Nole isn’t there;)

On a serious note, it is huge difference between MC and Madrid courts, Madrid is playing really fast, just look how mani aces per match we have.

Wog Boy Says:

No they haven’t me thinks, but this is what Nole think about Nick:

“He’s also showing some mental strength in the tough moments. That’s a virtue that he possesses and he’s got to nurture that in order to be where he wants to be.”


KatH Says:

What is the story re. Andy & Phillip – can’t find any comment re. their match?

M Says:

@KatH – I think I just heard somebody say that they were moving their match because it’s already something like 11:30 Madrid time already right now.

Too many long TBs today.

chris ford1 Says:

Maybe it’s time to demote Tomic as the flag bearer for Australia’s tennis future. He may be headed for Jerzy Janowicz land.

“Boy, I remember just few years back fans touted you as the hottest young gun. What happened, Bernie??”

Kyrgios – half Greek, half Malaysian. All tennis. A talent that is smart enough to know the value of heart, the mental strength to never be tanking when it’s hopeless. Because you can’t fold like that and then promise yourself you’ll be super tough on the other hand when it is close or you are behind and fighting to stay in it. Has a good work ethic and is a showman. Djoker approves…

Triple K, the other Greekish guy, seems bright and patien and has a great attitude. Like Raonic. Tomic has some work cut out for him. He doesn’t turn around, he may be in Sydney drinking shots out of a strippers belly button when Kyrgios and KKK are in Rio for the Olympics as the two best.

Wog Boy Says:


I think it is 4K..ahh, those Greeks:)

tennismonger Says:

@ Sean Randall – but you called it 1st!

the DA Says:

It’s now 1:00am Stosur-Kutz has just ended and they *still* expect Andy-Philip to play. It’s totally ridiculous. They’re scheduled again at 7PM tomorrow – only 18 hours from now. Completely messes with their prospects now. There’s always something at this tournament. Coincidence?

M Says:

My bad, Kat – Muzz and PK are on the court; it’s like 1 in the morning in Madrid.


Wog Boy Says:

^^ ..and Ithought Nole starting his match in IW after midnight two years ago was badI. If I am Andy I would tell them to stick it up their a…s and do WO.

Wog Boy Says:

^^ for the DA

the DA Says:

@Wog Boy – Yes, I agree. But then he’d have to play 2 matches in one day…again! Still, this god awful hour seems to have made him focus. He has broken and is hitting aggressively. He wants bed.

jane Says:

andy is not happy apparently; there are lots of tweets about it. but i haven’t been watching.

SI Tennis ‏@SI_Tennis 2m2 minutes ago
“I’m so gone. This is embarrassing that’s what this is. It’s embarrassing.” — Andy Murray, monologuing non-stop.

Courtney Nguyen ‏@FortyDeuceTwits 7m7 minutes ago
“I feel absolutely exhausted. I feel I might be sick.” — Andy Murray, according to the TTV comm.

M Says:

I’m watching, jane.

There’s a mic close to his side on the changeover, and I could sure hear him breathing hard.


jane Says:

andy and khols still playing at 2:45 am madrid time. just crazy.

jane Says:

well at least andy seems to be feeling well enough to finish strongly, maybe a bagel or a breadstick?

Daniel Says:

Nice Murray, 6-0 set third set. Onto next round.

jane Says:

3 am bagel.

skeezer Says:

Murray, whoa! Congrats.

Margot Says:

OMG glad I didn’t stay up for that one!
At least Andy has had some practise playing 2 matches in one day! *Whistle*
Cheers Wog Boy, glad Nole agree with me re Nick.;)
I don’t think Fed was playing that gr8 tbh and Gasquet just beat Nick rather easily, remember.

Colin Says:

Should Amelie be watching this nail-biter in the early hours? A bit risky in her condition, I think!

My connection broke down just before 2 AM here in the UK, and I decided to call it a day, or rather a night. It’s General Election today, and I’ll be up all tonight following the results, as this election is important. Not as entertaining as tennis, but more important, particularly to people who depend on a functioning Health Service.

Margot Says:

Say “Bye Bye” to the Bullingdon Boys, eh Colin?
Soooo close, Guardian poll puts them on equal number of seats now.
Nervous? Very. Actually worse than an Andy match.
…Whole of tennisx must faint clean away at that astonishing news…;)

KatH Says:

Daren’t get into the Election too deeply – my views usually don’t make me friends or influence people – however

Daniel, Margot, Colin et al – good news on the Andy front especially as he had to overcome the heavy-duty 3 matches in a day in Munich and now another M-city decides its OK to shove him (and Phillipp)onto the Court at one oclock in the morning – I think I’d have told them to SHOVE IT.

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