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Scouting Report: Djokovic And Nadal Chasing Record

An executive summary of what every fan should know about the coming week on the ATP World Tour

Battle For 29: Djokovic and Nadal are the all-time leaders with 28 ATP Masters 1000 titles each. This is the first time since 2011 that Djokovic and Nadal have accounted for the first three ATP Masters 1000 titles of the season.

All-Star Line-up in Madrid: The fourth ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the season, the Mutua Madrid Open, features every member of the Top 10 in the Emirates ATP Rankings (first time since 2011), 18 of the Top 20 overall. The second Spanish tournament on the ATP World Tour takes place at the La Caja Mágica. The facility features three main stadiums with a capacity for 12,500, 3,439 and 2,228, respectively. In the case of rain, all three courts have retractable covers that allow play to continue. The tournament was held on hard courts in October from 2002-08.

Mutua Madrid Open (Madrid): World No. 1 and 2011 champion Novak Djokovic returns to Madrid for the first time since 2013 when he lost in his opening match (2R) to Grigor Dimitrov. Djokovic is one of four former winners in the field along with reigning champ Andy Murray (also 2008), four-time champion Rafael Nadal (2005, ’10, ’13-14) and three-time titleholder Roger Federer (2006, ’09, ’12). The Big Four have accounted for 10 of the past 11 titles since 2005 with the only exception in 2007 when David Nalbandian was the champion.

Big Four Domination: In 51 of the past 55 ATP Masters 1000 tournaments (since ’10 Monte-Carlo), one of the Big Four: Djokovic, Murray, Federer and Nadal have lifted the trophy. During that stretch, Djokovic has won 23 titles, Nadal 13, Federer 8 and Murray 7. The only exceptions came at ’10 Paris-Bercy (Soderling), ‘12 Paris-Bercy (Ferrer) and in 2014 in Monte-Carlo (Wawrinka) and Toronto (Tsonga).

Novak Closing In On 200: As of May 2, Djokovic is three weeks away from reaching 200 weeks at No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. Djokovic will reach the 200 week milestone on May 23. He will become the fifth player in the history of the Emirates ATP Rankings to hold No. 1 at least 200 weeks in his career, joining Federer (302), Pete Sampras (286), Ivan Lendl (270) and Jimmy Connors (268). Djokovic has a 16-6 record in Madrid, winning the title in 2011 and reaching the semi-finals in 2007 and ’09. He is 28-2 on the season with ATP World Tour-best four titles, including the Australian Open and ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells and Miami.

Rafa on a Roll: Nadal enters Madrid on a 10-match winning streak after capturing back-to-back titles at ATP Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo (d. Monfils) and Barcelona (d. Nishikori). During the streak, Nadal has lost only two sets, both coming in Monte-Carlo (SF, F). Nadal has a 39-9 career record in Madrid, winning the title four times (2005, ’10, ’13-14) while reaching the final three other times (2009, ’11, ’15). Since 2009, he’s reached the final six of the last seven years (except ’12-3R). The 29-year-old Spaniard enters with a 22-6 match record on the season (14-2 on clay). He is looking to become the all-time clay court titles leader in the Open Era. He is co-leader (w/Vilas).

Roger Eyes No. 2 Wins Spot:  World No. 3 Roger Federer is two match wins away from tying Ivan Lendl on the Open Era career match wins list. Federer has 1,069 wins and Lendl 1,071. Jimmy Connors is the all-time leader with 1,256 wins. Federer enters with a 35-8 career record in Madrid and he is looking to win the title for the fourth time. He won the title on hard courts in 2006 and was runner-up in ’07. Since the tournament moved to clay courts, Federer lifted the winner’s trophy in 2009 (d. Nadal) and ’12 (d. Berdych). He also was runner-up in ’10. Last year he lost in the second round (after bye) in three tie-breaks to Nick Kyrgios.

Andy Defending Champ: Andy Murray comes into Madrid defending a clay court title for the first time in his career. The World No. 2 last year won back-to-back clay court titles in Munich (d. Kohlschreiber) and Madrid (d. Nadal). Murray enters Madrid with a 13-4 match record on the season (3-1 on clay) and in his previous clay court tournament at ATP Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo, he reached the semi-finals (l. to Nadal).

Anderson Back in Action: Kevin Anderson, who has been sidelined with knee and shoulder injuries this season, is playing in his first tournament since retiring in the first round in Delray Beach on Feb. 16 (vs. Krajicek) due to a shoulder injury. The 29-year-old South African has a 1-3 match record on the season, reaching the quarter-finals in Auckland (1R bye) and retiring in the first round at the Australian Open due to a knee injury.

Baghdatis Eyes 300 Wins: Marcos Baghdatis is making his first appearance in Madrid since 2013 and the 30-year-old Cypriot is one win away from 300 in his career (299-222). Five of his six career losses in Madrid have come to Spaniards.

Perfect Attendance: Madrid native Feliciano Lopez is the only player in the tournament’s 15-year history to participate in every singles draw (since 2002). Lopez has an 18-14 career record in his hometown tournament, reaching the quarter-finals four times (2003, ‘07-08 and ’14). Three other players are playing in Madrid for the 14th consecutive year: David Ferrer, Nadal and local resident Fernando Verdasco. Ferrer is a two-time semi-finalist, Nadal four-time winner and Verdasco two-time quarter-finalist. 

Impressive Doubles Field: The doubles draw features nine of the Top 10 teams in the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings:

1) Jamie Murray & Bruno Soares

2) Pierre-Hugues Herbert & Nicolas Mahut

3) Treat Huey & Max Mirnyi       

4) Bob Bryan & Mike Bryan

5) Daniel Nestor & Radek Stepanek

6) Juan Sebastian Cabal & Robert Farah

7) Feliciano Lopez & Marc Lopez

8) Pablo Cuevas & Marcel Granollers

10) Raven Klaasen & Rajeev Ram

Frenchmen Top Seeds: The French duo of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut are the top seeds in an ATP Masters 1000 tournament for the first time. They are trying to become the first team to win the first four ATP Masters 1000 tournaments of the season after capturing titles in Indian Wells, Miami and Monte-Carlo. They are 15-2 this year and on a 13-match winning streak. In 2014, the Bryans won the first three ATP Masters 1000 events before finishing runner-up in Madrid.

Bryans Look For Sixth Title:  Bob and Mike Bryan are five-time champions in Madrid (2006-07, ’10-11, ’13). The Bryans come into Madrid after winning their 111th career title together in Barcelona. They began the clay court circuit by winning in Houston. They have won a doubles record 35 ATP Masters 1000 titles.

In Case You Missed It

Nicolas Almagro won his first ATP World Tour title since 2012 with a thrilling victory over Pablo Carreno Busta in Estoril. Read

Diego Schwartzman rallied from the brink to beat Grigor Dimitrov and win his first title. Read

Philipp Kohlschreiber held off an in-form Dominic Thiem to take his third Munich title. Read

Novak Djokovic talks about finding his clay-court form in Madrid after an early exit in Monte-Carlo. Read

Thousands came together in Madrid to break a Guiness World Record. Read

Birthdays

1 May – Tommy Robredo (34)

8 May – Benoit Paire (27)

Milestones

Madrid Singles

Roger Federer – 1069 wins

Marcos Baghdatis – 299 wins

Jeremy Chardy - 199 wins

Madrid Doubles

Treat Huey – 145 wins

Jeremy Chardy - 97 wins

Fabrice Martin – 29 wins

Ranking Movers

+25  Diego Schwartzman (62)

+23  Nicolas Almagro (48)

+6  Alexander Zverev (43)