The come back of Roger Federer on clay courts will be complicated, if one were to see overall. The Mutua Madrid Open 2019, fourth ATP Masters 1000 of the year, has a very captivating draw, to the delight of the crowd of Caja Mágica.
The Swiss Maestro has been drawn in the top-half and in his quarter-final there are opponents like Dominic Thiem, Fabio Fognini and Gael Monfils. Novak Djokovic leads the draw as the top seed, and he could face Thiem or Federer in a possible semi-final.
Along the Serbian's road there are opponents like Grigor Dimitrov in the second round, Marco Cecchinato in the third round and either Juan Martin del Potro (who is returning from injury) and Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals.
In the bottom-half the big favorite is Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard has Denis Shapovalov, Daniil Medvedev, Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori on his side of the draw. The eventual opponent for Nadal in the semi-final could be one among Stefanos Tsitsipas, Karen Khachanov and Alexander Zverev.
Djokovic and Nadal are called to respond to those who have criticized their latest disappointing performances. The Serb does not come from a good period; a lot will depend on his physical form, but to exclude him from the favorites is impossible.
Rafa comes from two semi-finals (Monte Carlo and Barcelona) and he will be motivated and loaded, looking for the first title of the season The Spaniard should reach Madrid in great physical shape, as well as Dominic Thiem and Fabio Fognini.
The Austrian will start the tournament, for the first time in his career, with the same chances as Nadal of triumphing in a clay-court event. It will be interesting to evaluate Federer's physical condition, after two years of absence from the clay season.
The negative trend of Zverev, the defending champion, means he risks losing precious points, who starts with few chances, like Marin Cilic and Grigor Dimitrov. For technical skills, even Tsitsipas and Shapovalov could not have much chance of getting great results.
Fognini has had some physical problems after Monte Carlo, but should have recovered his athletic shape and will certainly have some chances to win. Daniil Medvedev and Guido Pella the possible outsiders. Special mention to David Ferrer, who will play the last tournament of his glorious career.
ATP Mutua Madrid Open 2019 - Percentages: Rafael Nadal 30% Dominic Thiem 30% Novak Djokovic 25% Fabio Fognini 15% Outsiders. Guido Pella and Daniil Medvedev.