Sunday, May 10, 2009

UPDATED: Madrid Open Preview - Everything you need to know

The new Madrid Masters kicks off on Sunday and here’s a brief of what you should know:

Murray is in Fed’s half, Rafa’s in Djoko’s

... Which means we can’t have a third straight Masters final featuring Rafa and Djokovic. Which sucks cuz like I said before, am starting to like this new rivalry on clay, but anyway, they could still face off in the semis which is definitely something worth looking forward to.

Federer has some tricky obstacles en route to the semifinals, including potential encounters with Ivo Karlovic (3rd round), Nikolay Davydenko (QF), and Andy Roddick (QF). Meanwhile, Andy Murray might have to overcome Juan Martin Del Potro or Stanislas Wawrinka if he wants to meet Federer in the semis.

Mario Ancic returns and opens against Tomas Berdych

The Croat has not played since he retired from his first match at Indian Wells, against Ivan Ljubicic, citing illness as the reason. Ancic must be one of the unluckiest players to ever take to the tennis courts. He has been struggling with mono for ages now. I really hope he shakes off all this bad luck and gets back to his winning ways. He was world number 7 three years ago for crying out loud.

UPDATE: Ancic has withdrawn from the event and has been replaced by lucky loser, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

Marat Safin opens against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

This is definitely the number 1 match to watch in the opening round in Madrid. The two have never played each other before but this match up bodes nothing but good signs for a strong and thrilling encounter.

The Spaniard-packed quarter of the draw

The Spaniards will have to take down one another in the Spanish capital next week if they wanna get ahead, since the draw has not been kind to them with Rafa, David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco, Feliciano Lopez, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Nicolas Almagro and Albert Montanes ALL in the same quarter of the draw. Rafa could face any of Ferrer, Verdasco, Ferrero or Lopez in the quarters.

Roddick finally realizes the clay season has started

World number 6, Andy Roddick, who returns to the circuit for the first time since his Miami quarterfinals exit last month, will be taking part in his first clay event of the season in Madrid next week. The newlywed, awaits either Ernests Gulbis or a qualifier in the second round.

Watch out for a possible Murray-Del Potro quarterfinal

We all know those two are far from friends; a fact which always makes their encounters intriguing. Before their US Open quarterfinal last year, people were betting on whether they would break into a fight during the match. They didn’t and instead they treated us with an incredible 4-set thriller which Murray won 7-6(2), 7-6(1), 4-6, 7-5.

The Venue

The venue for the Madrid Open is a very interesting one and they call it "La Caja Magica" or "The Magic Box". It features three main courts with retractable roofs, all in the same arena. It was described by Ion Tiriac, owner of the Madrid tournament, as “A tennis Taj Mahal.” Lenny Kravitz took part in the inauguration of the spectacular stadium as he sang to thousands of people in the arena on Friday. Both ATP and WTA events will take place at the venue this week. Tommy Robredo will kick off the ATP action on the Manolo Santana stadium against Nicolas Kiefer.


Anonymous said...

Too bad Ancic had to withdraw again. I hope he's back in Roland Garros.

What's with all the Spanish players all in one part of the draw? Are they doing that on purpose or what?

Reem said...

Haha a friend of mine and I were just saying the exact same thing yesterday. We were wondering if they wanted all the Spaniards to knock each other out in Madrid.

About Ancic, am trying to find out more about his health and physical condition at the moment, to see if he'll be back by the French. If you find out anything let me know.