Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Nadal to Open Madrid Campaign Against Gulbis

World number one, Rafael Nadal, will be making his return to the circuit for the first time since his US Open semifinal exit, when he takes to the courts of the Madrid Masters on Tuesday, to face up-and-coming Latvian, Ernests Gulbis, in the second round action.

This is a particularly special tournament for Rafa and am not just referring to the Hugo Boss models. Rafa received the ATP no. 1 ranking trophy on Sunday on Pista Central and he also has the chance to secure the year-end no.1 ranking if he reaches the final.

Rafa and Gulbis' sole previous meeting came in Wimbledon this year where the world number 54, took Rafa to 4 sets.

Gulbis, who reached the French Open quarterfinals earlier this year, reached a career high of 38 in the rankings back in August after an impressive quarterfinal run in Cincinatti, but hasn't capitalized on that effort as he failed to surpass the second round at any event ever since.

Nadal, who won the Madrid shield in 2005 after trailing Ivan Ljubicic 2 sets to love, made it to the quarters last year where he was crushed by David Nalbandian 6-1, 6-2.

Rafa won his first doubles match with fellow Mallorcan, Carlos Moya, against Americans James Blake and Mardy Fish on Monday.

Other action on Tuesday includes:

James Blake vs. Gilles Simon
Andy Murray vs. Simone Bolelli
Fernando Verdasco vs. Marin Cilic

Photo Credits: atptennis.com


hcfoo said...

This is going to be an interesting match after Rafa rested for some time. I have to get up as early as 2am to watch this.

Reem said...

Yes, Gulbis should be able to give Rafa a run for his money. But his recent results are not too good... Plus Rafa is playing at home and he wants to secure the year-end no. 1 spot. So who knows, maybe Rafa will finish him off real quick... we'll see!!