© Mutua Madrid Open

Rafael Nadal owns a 49-11 record at the Mutua Madrid Open.

Nadal To Face #NextGenATP Test In Madrid

Djokovic, Federer share top half of the draw

Five-time Mutua Madrid Open champion Rafael Nadal will face a blockbuster opening-match against Denis Shapovalov or Felix Auger-Aliassime at La Caja Magica this year.

Aiming to clinch his 50th tournament victory in the Spanish capital (49-11), the 80-time tour-level titlist will meet the winner of the all-Canadian #NextGenATP clash for a place in the third round . Nadal is bidding to reach his ninth championship match in Madrid this year (5-3), but will be well aware of the immediate threat that both potential second-round opponents pose.

Shapovalov has enjoyed success in Madrid already, having defeated Milos Raonic and Kyle Edmund en route to the semi-finals last year. The 20-year-old Canadian also has experience of beating the Spaniard at a Masters 1000 event, defeating Nadal in a final-set tie-break at the 2017 Coupe Rogers.

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Fellow Canadian Auger-Aliassime is currently playing the best tennis of his career. The World No. 30, who has risen 78 positions in the ATP Rankings this year, reached his first ATP Tour final at the Rio Open presented by Claro (l. to Djere) in February and advanced to his maiden Masters 1000 semi-final at the Miami Open presented by Itau (l. to Isner) in March.

Nadal shares his quarter of the draw with 2014 final opponent Kei Nishikori, former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka and Daniil Medvedev, who reached the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters semi-finals last month (l. to Lajovic). Medvedev will meet in-form Guido Pella in one of the picks of the first-round matches. Pella leads the ATP Tour with 19 victories on clay this year.

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer were both drawn into the top half of the draw. Following a first-round bye, World No. 1 Djokovic will meet Grigor Dimitrov or a qualifier for a spot in the third round. At that stage, the 2011 and 2016 champion could face Marco Cecchinato of Italy in a repeat of their quarter-final at Roland Garros last year. Djokovic also shares the top quarter of the draw with US Open runner-up Juan Martin del Potro and ninth seed Marin Cilic.

Three-time Madrid titlist Federer's highly anticipated return to clay will see the Swiss open his campaign against Richard Gasquet or Millennium Estoril Open semi-finalist Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Competing on the red dirt for the first time since the 2016 Internazionali BNL d'Italia, Federer will be eager to improve on his 35-8 record in the Spanish capital.

Federer has had an impressive start to the 2019 season, with title runs at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (d. Tsitsipas) and the Miami Open presented by Itau (d. Isner). The 37-year-old is one of only two players, alongside Dominic Thiem, to have lifted multiple ATP Tour trophies in 2019. Federer could meet Thiem at the quarter-final stage, with Monte-Carlo champion Fabio Fognini also featuring in a packed section of the draw.

Thiem will be hoping to add a second Masters 1000 title to his collection after triumphing at the BNP Paribas Open in March (d. Federer). The Austrian, who lifted the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell trophy last week (d. Medvedev), has finished as runner-up in Madrid for the past two years, following final defeats to Nadal (2017) and Alexander Zverev (2018).

Defending champion Zverev headlines the third quarter of the draw. The German did not drop his serve en route to the title last year, defeating John Isner, Shapovalov and Thiem in consecutive matches to lift the trophy and improve his tournament record to 8-1.

Zverev will meet Roberto Bautista Agut or David Ferrer in the second round. The Masters 1000 event will be the final tournament of Ferrer's career, which has seen the Spaniard lift 27 ATP Tour titles and reach a career-high No. 3 in the ATP Rankings. Zverev shares the third quarter of the draw with fellow seeds Stefanos Tsitsipas, Karen Khachanov and Borna Coric.

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