An attractive draw for the #MMOPEN favourites

Antonio Arenas Men's Tennis, Mutua News, Tennis

The men’s Mutua Madrid Open draw has laid out the roadmap that will decide, starting on Sunday 1 May, who gets their hands on the Arete sculpture trophy, created by artist David Rodríguez Caballero especially for the champion of the 20 th edition. The draw was made mid-afternoon on Friday at the Caja Mágica in the presence of director Feliciano López and with Pablo Carreño as the ‘innocent hand’.

The Masters 1000 held in the Spanish capital boasts a stellar line-up and the main draw has already thrown up some mouth-watering first-round clashes. A number of the tournament’s former winners are in the top half of the draw; Rafael Nadal (2005, 2010, 2013-14 & 2017), Novak Djokovic (2011, 2016 & 2019) and Andy Murray (2015).

The ATP’s No. 1 player, as a seed in Madrid, gets a bye through the first round and will meet the winner of the clash between Spanish wildcard Carlos Gimeno and Frenchman Gael Monfils. The Serb, who is back in the Caja Mágica after missing the event last year, is in the same section of the draw as the enticing match up between the British two-time Wimbledon champion and Dominic Thiem. The Austrian, who has recovered from a wrist injury, was a finalist at the #MMOPEN in 2017 and 2018.

The 21-time Grand Slam winner will be returning to competition after five weeks out with a fractured rib against the winner of the tie between the Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic and Kazakhstani Aleksandr Bublik. Another Spaniard is lurking in the same quarter of the draw; Carlos Alcaraz. The 18-year-old newly-anointed member of the Top 10 and recent champion in Barcelona, and of his first Masters 1000 in Miami, is the seventh seed and awaits the Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili or Italian player Fabio Fognini.

The biggest name in the bottom half of the draw is that of the last champion of the Madrid clay. The German Alexander Zverev starts out as the second seed and could face a Spanish opponent if Albert Ramos manages to beat Croatian US Open winner Marin Cilic. The same section also includes Canadian player Felix Auger-Aliassime (8), who will square off against the winner of the tie between the American Francis Tiafoe and Chilean Cristian Garín.

In the final quarter, it is Stefanos Tsitsipas (4) and Andrey Rublev (6) who have byes. The Greek awaits the victor of the clash between Frenchman Lucas Pouille and Karen Khachanov. Last week’s ATP 250 champion in Belgrade will open his campaign against either the Italian Lorenzo Sonego or US player Jack Draper.

The remaining Spaniards are led by Pablo Carreño who, after his recent final at the ATP 500 in Barcelona, will meet Dutch player Botic van der Zandschulp, and a Roberto Bautista who, if he manages to get past Croat Borna Coric in his opener, will be the first opponent of Casper Ruud.

Alejandro Davidovich, runner-up at the Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo, will face South African player Lloyd Harris in his opener. Finally, Pedro Martínez will meet the Australian Alex De Miñaur in the first round.