Week #19: What to watch for on ATP World Tour as delivered to Tennis Channel by ATP's PR & Marketing Department.
10 THINGS TO WATCH IN MADRID
1) Big 4 Domination: Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have won 59 of the last 64 ATP Masters 1000 tournaments dating back to Nadal’s triumph at 2010 Monte-Carlo. The foursome has also accounted for nine straight titles at the Mutua Madrid Open since David Nalbandian defeated Federer in the 2007 final. Djokovic leads all players with 30 ATP Masters 1000 titles, followed by Nadal (29), Federer (26), Andre Agassi (17) and Murray (14).
2) Andy Top Seed: Murray is the top seed in Madrid for the first time and comes in with a 15-5 record in 2017 (3-2 on clay). Last year, he was 13-4 with no titles entering Madrid. He went on to reach the Madrid final and end the season on a 65-5 run with an ATP World Tour-best nine titles.
3) Novak Reigning Champion: Djokovic, the defending champion, is looking to jump start his 2017 campaign. He enters with a 14-4 record and one title (Doha). One year ago, he came into Madrid with a 28-2 record and four titles. Djokovic lost before the final at the Australian Open, Acapulco, Indian Wells and Monte-Carlo, his longest drought without a final since 2010 (10 tournaments).
4) Nadal on a Roll: Nadal leads the ATP World Tour with 29 victories this season. He enters on a 10-match winning streak after capturing his 10th career title at both ATP Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo and Barcelona. Nadal trails the Emirates ATP Race to London leader Federer by 310 points (4,045-3,735). If he reaches the semi-finals, the Spaniard will pass Federer for the most points in 2017.
5) Kyrgios Comes to Clay: Nick Kyrgios is 16-4 this season, but has yet to play on clay. The Aussie is 5-2 in Madrid and has posted Top 4 wins in each of his first two appearances, beating No. 4 Stan Wawrinka en route to the 2016 quarter-finals and No. 2 Federer to reach the 2015 third round.
6) Hometown Boys: Madrid natives Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco are playing at their hometown tournament for the 16th and 15th consecutive year respectively. Six other players are appearing in Madrid for the 10th-or-more straight season: Nadal (15), David Ferrer (15), Wawrinka (11), Nicolas Almagro (11), Marcel Granollers (10) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (10).
7) #NextGenATP Stars: Alexander Zverev, Karen Khachanov, [Q] Ernesto Escobedo, [LL] Borna Coric and [LL] Jared Donaldson are in the Madrid main draw (Khachanov lost on Sunday).
8) Milestone Watch: Three players are closing in on milestone wins: Ferrer (698), Tomas Berdych (596) and Gael Monfils (399). Marin Cilic celebrated his 400th victory at Istanbul on May 5.
9) Wild Cards: The Madrid wild cards are 2010 semi-finalist Almagro, 2004 quarter-finalist Tommy Robredo, Spanish veteran Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Romanian Marius Copil.
1) Doubles Field: Five-time champs Bob and Mike Bryan have not won a title since May 15, 2016 at Rome (17 events), their longest drought since 1995-2001. Also in the draw are ATP Masters 1000 champs Klaasen/Ram (Indian Wells), Kubot/Melo (Miami) and Bopanna/Cuevas (Monte-Carlo).
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By Greg Sharko, Director, Media Information, PR & Marketing, ATP World Tour