Nadal and Federer hit Madrid

AP Photo/Andy Wong

Nadal and Federer hit Madrid

The world’s top players have descended upon Madrid this week, as both the women and men will be playing this prestigious tournament. It promises to be an exciting week of tennis, with multiple interesting story lines in play. Roger Federer will be making his return to clay in Madrid after skipping the clay court season for the last three seasons. It will be interesting to see how his new and improved game, which has won him three Grand Slams since his injury comeback, looks on the red clay.


That being said, Roger has said that he has no expectations on the clay. He’s just enjoying himself as he closes out his career. Obviously, the red clay is not Roger’s best surface. That title goes to Nadal. Nevertheless, Federer was the second-best player in the world on the red clay for a very long time. Let’s look at some of his stats on the stuff – especially Madrid. Out of his 101 titles, he’s won 11 tournaments on clay. Of those 11 tournaments, he’s had an impressive run in Madrid winning six titles. So maybe the reason Roger’s return to the clay is due to his great success in Madrid? It certainly seems logical.


As for the best player who has ever played on clay, Nadal, this week will be important for him. He’s been ousted at the semis of both Monte Carlo and Barcelona in the last few weeks. He’ll be playing Madrid and Rome in the next few weeks as he prepares his title defense in Paris. Lackluster results in these important tournaments is not ideal if Nadal wants to defend that title. He must establish his game.

As for the rest of the field, it’s pretty much as unpredictable as ever, especially on the women’s side. You can probably bet on Kvitova making some sort of run. She’s the defending champion and also the hottest player on tour right now. Don’t count Simona Halep or Elina Svitolina out though. Both those players have been as consistent as can be on the red clay. Look for one of them to either win or be present during Sunday’s final. Another cool thing to watch for is Kvitova trying to finally reach the number 1 ranking. If she wins, and she’s the odds on favorite, she’ll reach that milestone which has eluded her despite winning two Wimbledon titles in her career.


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