By Britwatch Team

  • Top Seeds: Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Rafael Nadal
  • Defending Champion: Novak Djokovic
  • British interest: Murray, Dan Evans
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MADRID, SPAIN – Novak Djokovic returns to defend his title, having parted ways with his coaching team, while Rafael Nadal has been dominant so far this clay court season.




Draw & Results

Tournament Website
Order of Play


[1] Andy Murray

When we last saw Murray in action, he was happy enough with a couple of rounds at Monte Carlo, where he was defending semi-final points. An elbow injury picked up at Indian Wells saw him pull out of Miami, and he was happy with how it had reacted. He backed it up with a run to the Barcelona semi-finals although at times seemed decidedly grumpy.

The points to defend really start here – finals last year, title in Rome and the Roland Garros final before we even get to his two titles on the grass. A lot depends on whether the elbow is back to full strength and whether Murray feels match sharp.

With the benefit of a bye into the second round, his draw gets tricky from the third round on. While Lucas Pouille has yet to beat Murray, his clay court pedigree this season has been impressive, reaching the Monte Carlo semi-final and winning the Budapest title already this season. He lost to Dominic Thiem in Barcelona, so he will have to be back to full fitness to make a good run here.

Murray’s Path to the Final

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Marius Copil/Guillermo Garcia-Lopez
  • R3: Lucas Pouille [13]
  • QF: Dominic Thiem [8]
  • SF: Stan Wawrinka [3]
  • F: Novak Djokovic [2]


[2] Novak Djokovic

The news of Djokovic parting ways with his coaching and fitness team came as a left-field announcement to many, and it remains to be seen if this frees him up to play a lot looser and more relaxed than we have seen of late.

There are a lot of points on the line in the next three tournaments for Djokovic and the timing of the split will make his Road to Roland Garros perhaps just a little rockier. He should progress through to the quarter-finals fairly promisingly and a lot depends on how Kei Nishikori comes back from a wrist injury that kept him off the clay court season so far.

If he comes up against Rafael Nadal through, on the Spaniard’s current form, we suspect his path could end there.

Djokovic’s Path to the Final

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Nicolas Almagro/Tommy Robredo
  • R3: Gael Monfils [15]
  • QF: Kei Nishikori [6]
  • SF: Rafael Nadal [4]
  • F: Andy Murray [1]


[3] Stan Wawrinka

So far it has been all quiet on the clay court front for Wawrinka, with a poor showing in Monte Carlo, exiting in the third round. He has decent records against either of his second round opponents, but maybe from the quarter-finals he could find himself a little match-shy.

Marin Cilic has been steady in the clay court season and is in the semi-finals in Istanbul at the time of writing, so in terms of form, he could present a big challenge, unless he arrives somewhat fatigued.

A lot depends on how quickly Murray settles, Wawrinka could end his progress here.

Wawrinka’s Path to the Final

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Pablo Carreno Busta/Benoit Paire
  • R3: Jack Sock [14]
  • QF: Marin Cilic [7]
  • SF: Andy Murray [1]
  • F: Novak Djokovic [2]


[4] Rafael Nadal

One of the stories of the year, thanks to his run to the Australian Open, if ever La Decima at Roland Garros was a possibility it looks like this year. Nadal has already hit that impressive milestone at Monte Carlo and Barcelona, and here he will be going for a fifth title in the Magic Box.

At the moment he look to be unstoppable. His possible third round opponent Nick Kyrgios has yet to get his shoes dirty on the clay, having skipped Estoril after his grandfather passed away. Milos Raonic has made a decent comeback after injury, which his deep run in Istanbul at the time of writing, and of course it remains to be seen how Djokovic copes with his ‘shock therapy’ approach and whether Murray plays himself into form. You would not count Nadal out at all, at this stage.

Nadal’s Path to the Final

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Fabio Fognini/Joao Sousa
  • R3: Nick Kyrgios [16]
  • QF: Milos Raonic [5]
  • SF: Novak Djokovic [2]
  • F: Andy Murray [1]


The Mutua Madrid Open takes place between 7-14 May – (BST +1 hour).



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