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Keeping It Simple with Blair Henley
Federer and Nadal on Semifinal Course in Madrid
By Chris Oddo
(May 3, 2013) --
The best-case scenario for the World's top three players occurred when the draws for the 2013
Mutua Madrid Open
were made on Friday.
It was the worst-case scenario for
Fifth-seeded Nadal was drawn into Ferrer's section of the draw, meaning that defending champion
and World No. 1
can breathe a sigh of relief that they won't be paid a visit from the king of clay in the quarterfinals.
David Ferrer, who has lost 14 straight matches against Nadal on clay, wasn't so lucky. But the good news for the World No. 4 is that he will likely get a chance to break that hideous streak against Nadal in the quarterfinals.
Ferrer could get
as his round of 16 opponent, but his campaign will likely come to an abrupt end in the quarterfinals unless Nadal suffers a catastrophic upset earlier in the draw.
Nadal, who has been to four finals in Madrid, winning two, had his run of three straight finals interrupted last year when he lost in three sets to
in the round of 16.
The seven-time French Open champion could face
in the round of 16 this year, before the expected quarterfinal with Ferrer.
Federer, who defeated
on the blue clay in last year's final, could see Nadal in the semifinals if the seeds hold. While it's not the best news for the defending champion, it's better than his draw at Indian Wells, which pitted him against the Spaniard in the quarterfinals and ended in a lopsided loss as Federer tried to play through the pain of a bad back against an in-form Nadal.
Other than that potential last four matchup with his nemesis, the only titleless member of the top five in 2013 has a relatively uncomplicated route to the semis ahead of him, with 8th-seeded
being the highest-seeded player in the quarter besides Federer himself.
Federer, who notched one of his two clay-court wins against Nadal in Madrid in the 2009 Madrid final, could face Upstart Aussie
in the second round. He would face 14th-seeded
of Japan in the round of 16, if the seeds hold.
Gasquet, who has been red-hot in 2013, could find himself facing either
with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line. Gasquet has reached the quarterfinals or better in the last two Masters 1000 events, and owns a stellar 23-6 record on the season.
Novak Djokovic won't have to face his archrival Nadal until the finals, but he'll have a minefield of top players to face if he is to reach the last two. The 2011 Madrid champion will likely have to deal with
in the second round and
in the third round, and if he reaches the quarterfinals,
could be waiting.
In the other half of Djokovic's section,
are slated to meet in the quarterfinals if the seeds hold.
Neither Murray nor Berdych has had a sparkling start to the clay-court season. Murray bowed out to
in Monte Carlo, winning only three games in that second-round clash, while Berdych has gone 2-2 on clay this spring, losing to
in Monte Carlo and
Murray has yet to win a clay-court title in his career.
Nadal over Federer, Djokovic over Berdych
Nadal over Djokovic
Men's singles action will begin on Sunday May 5.
(Photo Credit: Mutua Madrid Open)
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