The Mutua Madrid Open 2021 facility will once again open its doors to professionals. Last edition champion Novak Djokovic will be absent, as announced in the past few hours. The main draw tournament will be held from 2 to 9 May next and will precede the prestigious events in Rome and the Roland Garros in Paris, the culmination of spring swing on clay.
World number 2 Rafael Nadal will make his first match in the home event against the winner between Adrian Mannarino and the very young Carlo Alcaraz, while he could already meet our Jannik Sinner in the third round, provided that this - 14th seeded - manages to overtake Guido Pella is one of Jan-Lennard Struff and a still qualified unknown.
Possible challenge between Nadal and Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals, with the German who finds himself the winner of Miami Hubert Hurkacz in his own part of the draw, as well as Kei Nishikori and Karen Khachanov who will see it in the first match.
The Austrian Dominic Thiem, seeded number 3, could meet Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals, in a part of the draw also attended by the Spaniards Roberto Bautista Agut and Jaume Munar, the latter opposed to Alex De Minaur.
Argentine Diego Schwartzman could face Monte Carlo champion and recent Barcelona finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals, but the presence of players such as Aslan Karatsev (vs Ugo Humbert), Denis Shapovalov, Félix Auger-Aliassime and Casper should not be underestimated.
Ruud (as opposed to the 20-year-old Canadian), who have the real possibility of doing very well. As for Matteo Berrettini, the Italian tennis player - credited with a bye - has the opportunity to make his debut immediately against Fabio Fognini, who will face a player coming from the qualifiers.
Matteo finds himself in an insidious part of the board that also includes opponents such as Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Pablo Carreno Busta, Cristian Garin, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and above all the number 2 seeded Daniil Medvedev, absent in the Principality of Monaco due to his positivity to the virus.
Rafael Nadal talks about his difficulties playing in Madrid
After the quarter-finals reached in Monte Carlo and the victory obtained in the Godò Tournament in Barcelona, world number 2 Rafael Nadal is ready to make his debut in the home Masters 1000 in Madrid, where he has already won five career times.
In a press conference organized before the official start of the Spanish event, Rafa said: "It is true that in recent seasons I have played very well in swing on clay. This surface probably fits my game very well. I love this time of the year.
I love all tournaments. Events are held that are not too far from home and which at the same time are an integral part of the history of our sport. Personally, I always have a lot of fun playing in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome and of course at Roland Garros, I am very familiar with all these places and I like to play them from first to last."
Nadal also commented on the one week postponement of the French Open, believing that it doesn't make too much difference: "In terms of preparation, I have always trained very well for Roland Garros, even last year which was a bit of a season's difficult.
The one week postponement of the tournament affects everyone equally. Perhaps the less positive is that we now have one week less between Roland Garros and Wimbledon, right? I think this is the main topic, rather than the preparation for Paris."
Rafa then spoke about the match in Madrid: "It is the most difficult event for me. Everybody knows. At the same time it is also one of the most exciting from my point of view, because I play at home. We will have the opportunity to compete with the crowd again.
This means a lot to me. I'm really happy. As for tennis, it is certain that the situation here is a bit more complex. I have less control over the points, but I still managed to win several times." Finally, the champion from Mallorca concluded: "If the tournament had been held elsewhere, maybe I would have played anyway this week.
I have a few tournaments this season. This will be the fourth and my timetable is clear. If there are no setbacks I will play here, in Rome and Paris. There is no need to go back to it. This is the time to push and do my best in the three months on clay. I hope to be ready and to be able to give my best in every match here in Madrid."