The Mutua Madrid Open is now underway. More than 400 journalists from all over the world have their accreditations so that they can give a live account of everything that takes place on the Madrid clay. The tournament provides 10 days of pure tennis from the best players in the world. Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Simona Halep, Garbiñe Muguruza, Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova are just some of the favourites to lift the coveted trophy.
Some of the journalists accredited to cover this great event have given their opinion on how they see this season, who are their favourites and what they expect from a tournament that is now in its sixteenth year. Although they each have their own unique perspective, they all agree that this year is the closest, in both the men’s and women’s competitions.
Alejandro Pérez, of Sphera Sports, expects “plenty of excitement and few withdrawals through injury”, although given the demands of the tournament, “there may be the odd one”. Regarding the Spaniards, he believes “they will play an important role. Above all Nadal, so that he can use it as a boost coming into Roland Garros”. Regarding the women’s competition, he agrees with many others that “we can expect anything. I expect there will be a lot of upsets because it is a tour that always delivers”. His favourites would be Carla Suárez and Garbiñe Muguruza and defending champion, Simona Halep. He points out that “it is an unpredictable tour, you cannot guarantee what anyone will do because we have seen here in previous years that anyone can beat anyone at any time”.
Fernando Carreño, from the newspaper Marca, expects “the highest standards, because you always expect the best at a Masters 1000 and specifically the Mutua Madrid Open because it never disappoints. Either because the favourites, the big stars, reach the later stages and are able to show their class, or because we can see that this is a very lively sport and there will always be surprises”. He says that arriving at the Masters 1000 in Madrid is synonymous with “guaranteed success because you always have fun”.
Reem Abulleil is a journalist who makes the trip from Dubai to cover the tournament for Sport360º. She thinks this is a “very interesting tournament and it is a great opportunity to be able to enjoy the best players in the ATP and WTA in the same place just three weeks before the French Open”. In journalistic terms he believes it is also a good “chance to be able to be in contact with the players considering the tournaments they have coming up and the great organisation of the tournament”. She sees Nadal as the favourite for victory as he “is coming off the back of two tournament wins in Monte Carlo and Barcelona and he is back playing unbelievable tennis”. She thinks it will be interesting to see how he fairs against Djokovic and Murray who are also among the favourites. As for the women’s tournament, “with the return of Sharapova and absence of Serena I think there is a lot of chance for other players who are unseeded but could surprise us”.
Rene Denfeld, from Tennis Point in Germany, says that to him the WTA competition is the most enticing. “The women’s tournament is wide open, they all have a great chance this week”. For the men, “Djokovic and Murray have to demonstrate their greatness and Nadal has a decent draw, but even so he will have to dig deep to reach the final”. To him it is essential “that the big names dominate the draw”.
Paolo Di Lorito, a journalist from Italian newspaper Il Giorno thinks that in the WTA tournament “the favourite could be Sharapova because she has proven her form in Stuttgart, but we also have to consider Kerber and the defending champion, Simona Halep as possible champions”. In the men’s competition, “Nadal is the favourite because of what he has won this year, but we mustn’t forget Djokovic, who is defending his title”.
Finally, Robert Range, an English journalist from Women’s Tennis Blog, “I’m expecting great tennis and an emotional return from Sharapova”. I think she “is the favourite to win this year”. We will have to wait until 14 May to find out if these journalists’ predictions are accurate or, as many of them believe, if is so close that there are plenty of upsets.