After my efforts yesterday at having a go after Rafael Nadal, today I will concentrate on his upcoming challenges at the Madrid Masters. After his perfect clay court season last year Rafa has 1ooo points to defend and the pressure is on the world number one on home “turf”.
Much has been said about Rafa’s tough draw but claiming a third Madrid title will be a tough task. After receiving a first round bye (though I don’t know why the ATP insists on having them) Nadal has to play Marcos Baghdatis in the second, last weeks winner at Estoril Juan Martin Del Potro, Mikhail Youzhny or Marin Cilic (most likely Delpo) in the third round. Rafa is drawn in the same quarter as world number 8 Jurgen Melzer, could have Roger Federer in the semi final before possibly taking on Novak Djokovic who is unbeaten in 2011, has already defeated Nadal in two Masters 1000 events (though on American hardcourts).
For the full draw click here.
In other Madrid news big serving American and clay hater Andy Roddick was embarrassed yesterday by world number 160 Italian Flavio Cippola 7-6(5) 4-6 7-6(3). It was the unheralded I’m sure already has the green grass of Queen’s in his sights but there is another month on the clay and Roddick needs the rankings points if he is to make it back into the top ten.
Novak Djokovic needs three wins to break Ivan Lendl’s record for most victories to start the season. Winning his family owned event in Belgrade last week has taken the world number 2 to 27-0 for season 2011.
Juan Carlos Ferrero the former world number one and former winner at Madrid could not go past the first round losing to Dutchman Robin Hasse 2-6 7-5 6-4. The Spaniard is only playing his second event since the US Open.
And hopefully Robin Soderling can overcome his bad form, injuries/illness and sacking of his coach to set up a potential clash with Roger Federer in the quarter finals. After winning three of his first four tournaments the Swede has only won four matches since February and maybe the end of his five month partnership is bring a change of fortunes.