Steve Tignor has posted his thoughts on how the Madrid tournament might play out.
Otherwise, it sounds like it’s been a shaky start in Madrid, with Spaniards Nadal and Robredo noting the site’s deficiencies: few practice courts, buildings still under construction, cramped locker rooms, a silly blue clay court, and an owner, Ion Tiriac, with delusions of world domination. Are these legitimate beefs, or the gripes of touchy pros who have had their routine disturbed for the week? We’ll find out in the days and years ahead.
As if the bees weren’t enough, there have been some dust devils roaming about as well.
It may sound illogical, but the men’s event is now less about who can beat Nadal than whether he can keep winning all the way through to another French Open. That would mean five straight tournament titles, more than he’s ever pulled off in one spring. While that kind of sustained dominance may seem unlikely, what’s even more unlikely is that he’ll lose a match on clay in the foreseeable future. We’ll see if Nadal’s early irritation with the facility and the surface has any affect on his attitude.
Nadal’s quarter is loaded with fellow Spaniards—Ferrer, Verdasco, Ferrero, Montanes, Granollers, Lopez, and Almagro. Plus, there’s Argentina’s Juan Monaco, who nearly reached the semis in Rome two weeks ago. Of those, Verdasco and Ferrer have the best chance of making some inroads against Nadal. I might say the same thing for Almagro, except that I haven’t seen him once during this clay season, which isn’t a good sign.
Semifinals: Nadal d. Djokovic; Murray d. Roddick
Final: Nadal d. Murray