'Rafael Nadal is going to be tense', says expert
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 15153
The Master 1000 in Madrid is always a spectacular and highly anticipated event in the ATP tour calendar. From 26 April the curtain will rise in Spain for a tournament that promises to be very exciting looking at the players currently listed among the starters.
Sascha Zverev will have to defend last year's title, beating the blue Matteo Berrettini in the final. Much attention will be paid to Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, the two main favorites for the win, calculating that Daniil Medvedev could miss the event due to the announced 1-2 month stop.
An opportunity for the young Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz, who both lost in the second round in 2021 and therefore do not have many points to expire.
Nadal will skip the Montecarlo Masters
Patrick Mouratoglou has lavished praise on Novak Djokovic, saying the Serb is the best player in the world across all surfaces when he's at his best.
"Roland Garros is the most open it has been in the last 10-15 years. If Novak Djokovic is able to win a lot between the start of the clay season and Roland Garros, then it won't be that open. Because Novak, when he is at his best, even on clay, I think he is the best player in the world," Mouratoglou said.
"I know it's weird to say that when you see the number of Roland Garros that Rafael Nadal has won, but if you look at the figures, Novak beats Rafa many times on clay. If they have to play each other in the last stages of Roland Garros this year, last year's match will count in their minds 100%," Mouratoglou said.
"Rafa is going to be tense and Novak [Djokovic] will be much more aggressive because he will be more confident going against Rafa." Mouratoglou, on his part, feels the Serb could capitalize on Nadal's absence and regain his confidence by getting wins under his belt.
"Is Novak Djokovic going to win everything until Rafa comes back from his injury? That would be a game changer because then you would have Novak with full, full confidence back," Mouratoglou said. "But it's not going to be that easy because when you don't play matches, like he did last month, where the little he played, he lost early." Due to his vaccination status, Djokovic’s participation in tournaments around the world seemed to be uncertain.
However, after French Government lifted the vaccine mandate in March, the Serb will be able to play in Paris. Still, before the French Open, he will get a handful of tournaments to prepare for the Grand Slam event. Monte Carlo is one of them and he appears to be raring to go.