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Madrid Wednesday Preview

Madrid Wednesday Preview

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by Jonathan Morgan

Novak Djokovic and his 29 match win streak will play the South African Kevin Anderson as the Serb plays his first real clay tournament this week. This Anderson has beaten Djokovic before in a Masters, Miami 2008, and the courts in Madrid are playing quickly.

If Djokovic is off by just a bit and Anderson is workin' his serve, it could be tough. Djokovic in 2 tight sets. Next up on Manolo Santana court is World #1 Rafael Nadal vs. Marcos Baghdatis.

This will be a walk in the park for Nadal. He is rested, has won 2 tournaments in a row, and is full of confidence. Baghdatis, well, not so much. Still, the Madrid conditions are not the best for Nadal, and if he is to lose anywhere this clay season, Madrid is the most likely, but not to Baghdatis.

Marcos will have to play the match of his life and hope Nadal is off to win. Nadal will win something along the lines of 6-3, 6-3. Routine. The night match on Santana is Roger Federer vs. Feliciano Lopez, just coming off of a finalist showing in Belgrade.

If any of the top 3 are to be upset, the most likely is Federer. Lopez is playing well, his home crowd, court, and event, and Federer isn't in top form, especially coming off a very disappointing loss to Melzer back in Monte-Carlo.

Lopez has a great chance to win here, but I think Federer will pull it out in 3. Elsewhere tomorrow, Tomas Berdych will be trying to avoid the upset against Spaniard Marcel Granollers. Berdych's form this clay season has been so-so and Granollers is coming off a good win over Davydenko in the previous round.

There is a possible upset here, but Berdych should pull through. Juan Martin del Potro, fresh off his win in Estoril last week is also in action, playing against Marin Cilic, who is in wretched form.

If Delpo is not fatigued, he ought to get through this rather cleanly. Andy Murray will play Gilles Simon in a match of very similar defensive baseliners. Don't watch this one if you are a fan of aggressive tennis.

Murray will win in a snooze-fest. Daniel Gimeno-Traver the Spaniard will try to back up his huge win over Richard Gasquet in the previous round against Jurgen Melzer. Melzer has had a good clay season, but the Austrian is still inconsistent and can come and go.

Melzer should win this in 2 tight ones as Gimeno-Traver might fall victim to the "big upset then lose in the next round" syndrome. Flavio Cipolla has himself a favorable match vs. Michael Llodra for him to back up his win over Andy Roddick in the previous round.

Llodra is no clay courter, and expect this one to be a rollercoaster. Florian Mayer, after his final loss vs. Davydenko in Munich, will play Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci. Bellucci as usual is in terrible form, and this match can easily go either way.

Another 50-50 match is the Xavier Malisse vs. Yen-Hsun Lu showdown. Lu is another player who score a huge upset, taking out Fernando Verdasco in the opening round. I'll take Malisse, but would not be surprised either way.

And 2 time Roland Garros finalist Robin Soderling will try to get out of his post-February slump against the tricky Santiago Giraldo. Giraldo is a fine clay courter, and will need to use all his guile to pull of this upset, though Robin Soderling should win this.


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