The 2017 edition of the Mutua Madrid Masters is about to begin. Rafael Nadal is the big favorite, but Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will try to make important statements while Roger Federer patiently waits for Wimbledon and perhaps the French Open.
The competition in the 56-player main draw begins on Sunday, May 7.
Event: Mutua Madrid Masters
Category: ATP World Tour – Masters 1000
Date: May 7 – 14, 2017
Location: La Caja Magica – Madrid, Spain
With a prize money allotment of over 5.4 million Euros and an overall financial commitment of over 6 million, the Madrid Masters continues to grow as a lucrative event – the prize money is over 650,000 Euros more than it was last year. That point aside, the tournament is even bigger as a way to build rankings points and – for the lower-ranked players on tour – a chance to avoid the qualifying rounds at Roland Garros and go directly into the main draw.
Champion – 1,000
Runner-up – 600
Semifinal – 360
Quarterfinal – 180
Round of 16 – 90
Round of 32 – 45
Former Champions and Results (5 Years)
Year Champion Runner-up Score
2016 – Novak Djokovic def. Andy Murray – 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
2015 – Andy Murray def. Rafael Nadal – 6-3, 6-2
2014 – Rafael Nadal def. Kei Nishikori – 2-6, 6-4, 3-0 (ret.)
2013 – Rafael Nadal def. Stan Wawrinka – 6-2, 6-4
2012 – Roger Federer def. Tomas Berdych – 3-6, 7-5, 7-5
Like most of the Masters tournaments on the yearly ATP Tour schedule, the Madrid tournament has a 56-player main draw with the top eight seeds getting a bye in the opening round.
Andy Murray’s struggles in 2017 are for real. Murray looked set for a semifinal spot in Monte Carlo after rushing to a 4-0 lead in the deciding third set but astonishingly lost against Albert Ramos-Vinolas. An early loss and lack of match practice meant he took a wild card in Barcelona, but even there he couldn’t make the final. Murray avenged his loss to Ramos-Vinolas in the quarterfinal but was eliminated in the next round by Dominic Thiem. He made the finals in Madrid last year and is defending 600 points but his current form says he’ll drop points this time.
In 2015 and 2016, there used to be at least one match in every tournament when it felt like there was no way Novak Djokovic would win, but he used to pull off the miracle each time. Djokovic has built his career by surviving one tough encounter every tournament and then zoning in his following matches. The Serb still remains the ultimate escape artist but no one has seen the best of Djokovic in 2017. So far this season, he has failed to defend all the big titles. He is also the defending champion in Madrid but it’s going to be a tall order again to stop Rafael Nadal, who has improved at just the right time.
This clay swing Rafael Nadal is doing what he used to do in the past– destroying his opponents on clay without showing any mercy. Nadal won in Monte Carlo without much trouble and romped through the field in Barcelona to complete a unique achievement—he is the first player to win two tournaments (Monte Carlo and Barcelona) 10 times. However, in Madrid, Nadal has just won three times and is probably entering the only clay Masters event where he looks beatable. Not in this form though. Nadal is in a different league at the moment. With Djokovic and Murray both fighting form, Nadal will take the role of favorite in his home tourney in Madrid.
Dominic Thiem has shown that he can beat top players every now and then, but it doesn’t necessarily materialize into title runs. Thiem played a strong match to beat Andy Murray in the Barcelona semifinals but couldn’t win more than five games against Nadal in the finals. Probably he was unlucky to run into red hot Rafa, but he was also leaking errors in the second set after a competitive start to the match. Can Thiem control his aggressive backhand and hit it with more accuracy when he does face Nadal again?
La Caja Magica
The Caja Magica, also known as The Magic Box, is a tennis complex comprised of a big stadium court and two other fairly large show courts. La Caja Magica has hosted the Madrid tournament since 2009. In 2012, the event used blue clay before going back to the standard red clay ever since.
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