>> Sunday, May 6, 2012
Play has commenced at the 2012 Mutua Madrid Open in Madrid, Spain and tennis fans are looking forward to next weekend for an explosive end to this year's Madrid tennis tournament. Can world no. 1 Novak Djokovic continue his recent dominance over the best clay court player ever in world no. 2 Rafael Nadal? Djokovic declared that he played the best clay-court match of his life to dethrone Rafael Nadal in the Madrid final last year. The 24-year-old Serb returns to defend his title, bidding to win his third tour-level title of the season. Or will two-time champion and world no. 3 Roger Federer prevent a third Djokovic-Nadal showdown this year by reaching the finals and perhaps winning his fourth title of the year in his first clay court tennis tournament this year?
Nadal will certainly be out for revenge as he saw a 37-match unbeaten run on clay ended by Djokovic in the 2011 Madrid final. The Spaniard has a 24-7 event record, having won the title in 2005 (d. Ljubicic) and 2010 (d. Federer). This year, he continues his dominance on clay winning titles in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona including a straight set thrashing of Djokovic in Monte-Carlo. That win stopped a seven-game losing streak by the Spaniard against the top-ranked Serb. As for Federer, he had success in this tournament. The Swiss won the event in its first year on clay, beating Rafael Nadal in the 2009 final.
World no. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is elevated to fourth seed after Andy Murray withdrew from the tournament. Tsonga aims to regroup in Madrid after losing his opening-round match at the BMW Open in Munich last week. Seeded players who have done well in this tournament in the past are no. 5-seed David Ferrer, no. 6-seed Tomas Berdych, no. 10-seed Juan Martin del Potro, and no. 11-seed Nicolas Almagro. All four players reached the semifinal stage of this tournament once. Gilles Simon, the no. 9-seed reached the Madrid finals in 2008, the last year the tournament was played indoors.
2012 Mutua Madrid Open - Seeded Players
# Player W-L Best Finish
1 Novak Djokovic (SRB) 14-4 W-'11
2 Rafael Nadal (ESP) 24-7 W-'10,05
3 Roger Federer (SUI) 29-6 W-'09,06
4 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 4-4 R16-'11,08
5 David Ferrer (ESP) 10-9 S-'10
6 Tomas Berdych (CZE) 7-7 S-'06
7 Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) 0-1 R64-'09
8 John Isner (USA) 3-2 R16-'10
9 Gilles Simon (FRA) 7-3 F-'08
10 Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) 9-4 S-'09
11 Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 5-5 S-'10
12 Gael Monfils (FRA) 7-5 Q-'10,08
13 Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 15-10 Q-'08,07,03
14 Richard Gasquet (FRA) 2-4 R16-'08
15 Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 7-9 Q-'09
16 Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) 1-2 R32-'10