What a draw Rafael Nadal will have to overcome! Luck was not on the side of the Spanish tennis player in the draw for the Mutua Madrid Open 2021, where he theoretically had to face a very complex path in search of his sixth title in the tournament that takes place in the Caja Mágica.
Although he starts as the great favorite, the current world number two will have to put the accelerator on from the start to avoid a surprise like in Monte Carlo or the one he was close to suffering in the first rounds of Barcelona.
Nadal, as the first seed, will only make his debut in the second round and will do so against the winner of the clash between his youthful compatriot Carlos Alcaraz and the Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. The luck of Mannarino, who is not found on clay, has had to face Rafa in the three draws if he overcame his first obstacle, and so far he has not done so.
In case of advancing to the round of 16, the Mallorcan could meet the Italian Jannik Sinner (14), one of the players called to fight for the throne of clay in the immediate future. Later, in quarters he would play one between the German Alexander Zverev (5), the Polish Hubert Hurkacz (12), or the Japanese kei Nishikori and the British Daniel Evans.
For the semifinals, he could meet Austrian Dominic Thiem (3), Russian Andrey Rublev (6), Spanish Roberto Bautista Agut (9) or, perhaps, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov (13). It would only be until a hypothetical final when Nadal would have on the horizon the Russians Daniil Medvedev (2), and Aslán Karatsev, or else repeat the final in Barcelona against the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (4).
In a recent interview, Feliciano Lopez, the director of the Mutua Madrid Open, expressed his thoughts on his compatriot Nadal. He claimed that Rafa looks better every time he sees and meets him.
Feliciano Lopez praises Rafael Nadal
“I see Rafael Nadal better every time,” said Feliciano Lopez in the interview.
“It is a tremendous achievement that Rafael Nadal keeps opting to win all tournaments at his age. It has enormous merit,” added the 39-year-old Spanish player. Since defending champion Novak Djokovic isn’t playing at the tournament, it is a golden opportunity for Rafa to equalize Djoker’s tally of 36 Masters 1000 titles.
He currently has 35 Masters titles and winning the Madrid Open will help him level Djokovic. Will Rafa be able to win his sixth title in Madrid this year?