The draw for ATP Masters tournament in Madrid has been made and the common question the fans are asking currently is – will we see the clash between Djokovic and Nadal?
Novak Djokovic suffered an early setback in Monte Carlo. Jiri Vesely took advantage of the bad day the world number one had, and defeated him in three sets.
Rafael Nadal, the long time ruler of Monte Carlo, and most of the other clay court tournaments, took advantage of that and won the title. Additionally, Nadal was the best in Barcelona and these two straight clay court titles are maybe the reason for claims that Spaniard made a full comeback and that he is strong enough to challenge Djokovic on clay. If we see their match in Madrid it will certainly give us the answer to that question.
World number one will face Almagro or Coric in the second round, which can be a tricky match for him, since he had a long break before this. Bautista Agut or maybe Feliciano Lopez could be his possible rivals in round three. In quarterfinals Tsonga or Raonic are the favorites to reach him, but if we have in mind that clay isn’t their favorite surface, Bellucci or maybe Dolgopolov might take advantage of it. In the semis, the favorite to face him is Stan Wawrinka.
Wawrinka will not have an easy way to the semifinal. In the second round he can face Kyrgios, in the third, Monfils, Anderson, Kohlschreiber or Cuevas are his possible rivals, while in the quarterfinals the favorite to face him is Nishikori.
Federer has a very difficult road to the semifinals. In the second round he can play against either Mahut or Sousa, which shouldn’t be a problem for him, but Thiem or Del Potro in the third round can both pose a threat. In the quarterfinals, he can face his old rival, Rafael Nadal.
Murray could also have a tricky road to the semifinal with Federer or Nadal. He will face Pospisil or a qualifier in round two, but in round three he can face Simon, Baghdatis, Dimitrov, or in-form domestic player Carreno Busta. In the quarterfinals, Murray can face Berdych or Ferrer, among others.
So, the big showdown between Djokovic and Nadal is possible in the final. However, both players will probably have to defeat many strong opponents until that match and it won’t be a big surprise if we don’t see their clash in Madrid.
Nadal is currently in the best form in the past two and a half years, while Djokovic is a bit shaken from the early exit from Monte Carlo. Will it be enough for the Spaniard to regain his mental edge over Djokovic, or the Serb will easily cruise to victory against him, like in their past several encounters?