The round of 16 at the 2010 Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open men’s singles event has been completed leaving 8 players still in contention for the Madrid singles title. No.1 seed and defending Madrid champion Roger Federer next plays the man who defeated him in Rome, 21 year old rising star Ernests Gulbis, in what should be the match of the round.
The biggest upset in the round of 16 was Austrian Jurgen Melzer’s defeat of No.6 seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain in front of a very pro-Verdasco crowd. The crowds still have 3 Spaniards to support in the last 8 who are all in different quarters of the draw so have the chance to have 3 Spaniards in the semi finals of a clay court ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event for the 3rd time in a row. In Monte-Carlo it was Nadal, Verdasco and Ferrer. In Rome it was Nadal, Verdasco and Ferrer. In Madrid it could be Nadal, Ferrrer and Almagro.
The top 3 seeds are still alive, all of whom have won the Madrid singles title in the past. No.2 seed Rafael Nadal won the title in 2005 and is getting closer to make a clean sweep of all 3 Masters 1000 clay court titles. No.3 seed Andy Murray is taking steps towards regaining his form and has his strongest test against No.9 seed David Ferrer who leads the ATP Tour with 32 match wins this year.
Ferrer holds a 2-1 advantage over Murray in their previous matches including a 6-3 6-4 win in their latest meeting at the 2010 Rome Masters. Murray won Madrid in 2008 when this event was still played on hard courts. Ferrer’s best in Madrid is a pair of quarter finals, in 2005 and this year. Murray seems to have snapped out of his funk, with the realisation that Wimbledon is fast approaching wherehe would dearly love to take the title. The current World No.4 will be looking continually raise his level of play over the next 5 weeks.
Melzer and Almagro have achieved their best result in Madrid and will be playing for high stakes. The winner of this quarter final will reach the 1st Masters 1000 semi final of their career. The 28 year old Melzer is playing in his 3rd Masters 1000 quarter final. The 1.83m left hander looks set to set a new career high ranking (previous best No.26), on Monday and will be keen to upset another Spaniard.
The 24 year old Almagro is pictured above swinging towards the contact point for this forehand drive. The 1.83m Spaniard has not dropped a set in Madrid including taking out No.4 seed Robin Soderling. The former World No.11 is a clear cut clay court specialist and has played in 7 ATP Tour finals, winning 5 clay court titles and being a runner-up twice both at clay court events. The 2008 French Open quarter final result is Almagro’s best result in a Grand Slam singles event.
The toughest quarter final task lies with No.12 seed Gael Monfils who takes on Nadal. The 23 year old Frenchman has been out injured and has lost 5 of his previous 6 matches against Nadal. The 1.93m 2008 French Open semi finalist has had great results on clay and is now playing hsi 2nd quarter final at Madrid.
Can Latvian sensation Ernests Gulbis beat Federer for a 2nd time in a row? There is no reason why not. This is the 3rd match between these two this year. Federer won in Doha 6-4 in the final set and Gulbis won 7-5 in the final set in Rome. Gulbis then nearly took out Nadal in the Rome semi finals, but just fell short losing 6-4 in the final set. Gulbis is the only player to take a set off Nadal this year on clay.
Federer will be desperate to make the most of his chance to prove he is better than Nadal by taking Madrid and the French Open crowns for the 2nd year in a row. Federer will have to be at the top of his game to get past the hottest young player on the tour. The 1.9m Gulbis is currently at his career high ranking of No.34 and will move up even further after making the quarter finals at Madrid for the 1st time. If Gulbis can use his forehand intelligently he will defeat the World No.1 again.
For further details about when each round of the men’s singles event is scheduled to be played, including the semi finals and finals, you can visit -> Madrid Men’s Schedule of Play.
The 3rd round results were:
- (1) Federer d. (15) Wawrinka6-3 6-1
- Gulbis d. Lopez 6-2, 7-6 (7-0)
- (3) Murray d. Hanescu 6-2 6-1
- (9) Ferrer d. (8) Cilic 6-3 6-2
- Melzer d. (6) Verdasco 7-5 6-3
- Almagro d. Monaco 6-4 6-1
- (12) Monfils d. Garcia-Lopez 7-6 (7-5), 6-4
- (2) Nadal d. (13) Isner 7-5 6-4
The men’s singles quarter final draw is:
- (1) Roger Federer v. Ernests Gulbis (5) Roddick
- (3) Andy Murray v. (9) David Ferrer (8) Cilic
- (6) Verdasco Jurgen Melzer v. Nicolas Almagro (4) Soderling
- (7) Tsonga (12) Gael Monfils v. (2) Rafael Nadal
The players name that is bolded is OCA’s prediction of who will win each match. The players names who have a line drawn through them, are the seeded players who were expected to reach the quarter finals, but have been eliminated from that spot in the draw.
Stay tuned to this tennis website for further information about Madrid for both the men’s and women’s events. Click this link for more details -> Madrid 2010: May 7 – 16.
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