The organizers of the fourth Masters 1000 tournament of the season in Madrid have announced the first four names that received the main draw wild cards, all coming from Spain. The biggest hope of Spanish men's tennis, an 18-year-old Nicola Kuhn will make his debut in Madrid after falling in the second qualifying round 12 months ago, entering his second Masters 1000 draw after Miami in March.
Nicola defeated Darian King in straight sets to earn his first ATP win before losing to Fabio Fognini and he will try to make an even better result in front of his fans on clay. he was born in Austria but came to Spain when he was a kid and stayed there ever since, making his first tennis steps on the clay court and enjoying a prominent junior career on the slowest surface after winning the doubles title at last year's Roland Garros alongside reaching the final in singles.
In addition, he won his first pro title in Hungarian Futures on clay last May, followed by another trophy in Braunschweig Challenger in July. Nicola competed in Barletta Challenger this week and he twisted his ankle against Goncalo Oliveira in the early stages of set number two and it is still unclear how serious the injury is.
We could only hope it is not that bad and that he would be able to return to his best before Madrid as he certainly wants to justify the wild card and deliver his best tennis at Caja Magica. World number 78 Roberto Carballes Baena grabbed the second wild card and this will be his second appearance in Madrid after reaching the main draw as a qualifier in 2016, losing to Richard Gasquet in the opening round.
Roberto has lost the last three ATP matches he played but he already had a successful first quarter of the season, qualifying for the main draw in Quito and beating the fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the final to lift his first ATP title.
Two best-ranked Spanish players who failed to make a direct entrance into the women's draw will have the opportunity to play there without having to qualify, as the organizers gave wild cards to Lara Arrubarrena and Sara Sorribes Tormo.
Arrubarena is currently ranked 79th and she won just three matches in 2018 so far, desperately needing some good result in order to turn her season into a more positive affair. Her best result in Madrid came 12 months ago when she won two matches before losing to Anastasija Sevastova and she would love to repeat that result this May as well to at least defend her points.
21-year-old Sara Sorribes Tormo is in a poor form as well, winning just one main draw matches this season after missing the entire action in January due to injury. She is yet to win a match in Madrid, failing to qualify between 2012-2015 and losing to Samatha Stosur in the opening round of 2016 and 2017, winning just six games in four sets.