Federer vs Thiem, Nadal vs Wawrinka Headline Madrid QFs
Roger Federer faces Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal takes on Stan Wawrinka as part of a blockbuster quarter-final lineup on Friday at the Mutua Madrid Open. Seven of the eight remaining players have won ATP Masters 1000 titles and share 99 Masters 1000 singles trophies between them.
Thiem is riding a seven-match winning streak and won his most recent clash against Federer this March in the BNP Paribas Open final for his first Masters 1000 title. The fifth seed leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 3-2 and prevailed in their only clay-court meeting in Rome 2016. Thiem joins Djokovic and Nadal as the only active players to hold a winning record against the Swiss star.
Fourth seed Federer might be competing in his first clay-court tournament in three years, but he’s shown no signs of rust on the surface. After a comprehensive win against Richard Gasquet on Tuesday, he bravely saved two match points to hold off another Frenchman in 15th seed Gael Monfils in an epic third-round battle. Federer knows he will need to raise his level if he wants to defeat the Austrian on his preferred surface, but is confident he can rise to the occasion.
“Thiem has been playing great recently, winning Barcelona and also Indian Wells. I also saw what he could do on the slower, harder courts, not that I needed him to prove his point,” said Federer. “I don't think anybody's really underestimating me because I'm not coming back from an injury. I don't have that much clay court tennis in me in the last few years, but that doesn't make me less dangerous.”
Second seed Nadal and Wawrinka meet on clay for the first time since the Spaniard won their 2017 Roland Garros final. Nadal, a five-time champion in Madrid, also defeated Wawrinka in the 2013 Madrid final. He leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 17-3, but the Swiss does have a victory over him on the red clay of Rome in 2015. Wawrinka has been in top form this week and hasn’t dropped serve in his first three rounds.
“I expect a very tough match,” said Nadal. “He is playing with confidence. He likes to play here in these conditions. The only way to win is to be able to play at a very high level, so I hope to be ready to make it happen.”
World No. 1 Djokovic continues his quest for a third Madrid title against ninth seed Marin Cilic. Although the top seed leads Cilic in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 17-2, the Croatian has won two of their past five matches. Cilic has shown impressive resilience by winning three consecutive three-set matches to reach his first quarter-final of the year. Meanwhile, Djokovic has powered into the last eight without dropping a set and looks primed to win his first clay-court title since Roland Garros 2016.
Third seed and defending champion Alexander Zverev of Germany squares off with eighth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in a battle between two of the most talented young stars in the game. Zverev is 1-1 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Tsitsipas, winning last August in the Citi Open semi-finals before squandering two match points in their Rogers Cup quarter-final. Zverev has rounded into form to reach his first quarter-final in two months, while Tsitsipas currently ties Daniil Medvedev for the most wins on tour in 2019 (25).
ORDER OF PLAY - FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2019
MANOLO SANTANA start 12:00 noon
ATP -  Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs  Marin Cilic (CRO)
Not Before 2:30 pm
Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP -  Roger Federer (SUI) vs  Dominic Thiem (AUT)
Not Before 8:00 pm
Not Before 9:30 pm
ATP - Possible court change - Stan Wawrinka (SUI) vs  Rafael Nadal (ESP)
ARANTXA SANCHEZ start 12:30 pm
2 WTA matches
Not Before 5:00 pm
ATP - Marcelo Demoliner (BRA) / Daniil Medvedev (RUS) vs Jean-Julien Rojer (NED) / Horia Tecau (ROU)
Not Before 7:30 pm
ATP - Possible court change -  Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) vs  Alexander Zverev (GER)