Rafael Nadal will return to Madrid next week, as he hopes to claim his sixth title in the city. The Spaniard lifted his 12th title in Barcelona last week, after he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in the finals in a three set thriller. Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the Madrid Masters, which means that Rafael Nadal enters the tournament as the top seed.
Rafael Nadal won the Madrid Masters title in 2017, after he defeated Dominic Thiem in the finals in straight sets. His first title in Madrid came way back in 2005, when he defeated Ivan Ljubicic in the finals. The Spaniard has a tough draw this time around, and will have his task cut out if he is to win his sixth title in Madrid.
Rafael Nadal’s path to glory in Madrid
Nadal has received a bye in the first round, by virtue of being the top seed. In the second round, he will face the winner of Adrian Mannarino and Carlos Alcaraz. In the third round, he is expected to face the Italian prodigy, Jannik Sinner. Nadal defeated the teenager in the French Open quarterfinals last year.
Rafael Nadal’s path to the title gets tougher as he progresses further in the tournament. In the last 8, he is expected to face the German, Alexander Zverev in another intriguing battle. A clash against either Andrey Rublev or Dominic Thiem, awaits in the semifinals. Rublev defeated Nadal at the Monte Carlo Masters a few weeks ago, and the Spaniard will hope to avenge his loss if he does get an opportunity.
In the finals, he will face either Daniil Medvedev or Stefanos Tsitsipas. Medvedev has had a torrid time on clay courts in the past few seasons, and he will hope to do better this around. The Russian missed the Monte Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open, because he had tested positive for covid-19.