Madrid Masters, La Caja Magica – the magic little box – the main stadia features 3 covered clay courts in what currently is the best tennis facility in Europe. Former player Ion Tiriac is the brainchild of this dual gender event in the Spanish capital.
In the past Madrid has always been a little gimmicky; take the beautiful models doing ball boy duties and even blue clay, Madrid and Ion Tiriac has always strove to be different. This year however there are no such gimmicks as Madrid is set to be the pre Roland Garros tuneup it was always intended to be. The players wont have any excuses this time nor will the owner. He has taken away the models and dumped the blue clay , apart from the altitude this clay event will provide a good barometre for all the potentials for the French Open.
There are many questions on the lips of tennis fans that many hope will be answered this week. How will Nadal recover from his defeat in Monte Carlo and Barcelona ? The Spaniard is in the same half of the draw as top seed Federer and has won the event twice on the bounce. He defends his 1000 points and a victory would not go a miss. Nadal is lacking confidence on the clay and a good performance here must be a requirement ahead of the Rome Masters and the grand slam in Paris.
Vika Azarenka has already beaten one of the Williams sisters and will encounter the 25 game winning run Serena in the third round. You can compare their head to head Compare Tennis Players H2H on this great new website. Elsewhere clay specialist Maria Sharapova is in the draw but will be made to work if she wants to go deep. Sharapova potentially faces in form Wozniacki or Radwanska in the quarters but luckily for Maria second seed Romanian Halep is out!
There are so many questions and no doubt the answers will all be revealed in due course. This week will go a long way to determine how far Nadal can go in Paris and if Maria can get back to her best form on the clay. Follow the results on LOVE tennis blog.