Saturday, May 5, 2012

Madrid Draw

Two years ago, when an injury stopped David at the very last minute from playing his first match at the Caja Magica, it took the organisers a record-breaking five hours to get the draw online. This time, they managed to surprise everyone - by conducting the draw ceremony a day earlier than originally scheduled. So Madrid remains to be an adventure, in terms of blogging. And this year, it will also be an adventure for the players - on blue clay.
But first of all a look at David's draw for his Caja Magica premiere, in all its "glory"...
As mentioned before, he has been drawn into Roger's Federer quarter and not only that, David is bound to meet him in the second round:

[3] Roger Federer (SUI) vs BYE
Milos Raonic (CAN) vs David Nalbandian (ARG)
Viktor Troicki (SRB) vs Donald Young (USA)
Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) vs [14] Richard Gasquet (FRA)

[11] Nicolas Almagro (ESP) vs QUALIFIER
Marcel Granollers (ESP) vs Carlos Berlocq (ARG)
Radek Stepanek (CZE) vs Bernard Tomic (AUS)
BYE vs [5] David Ferrer (ESP)

Complete draw here.

I recall a press conference last year (during the Copa Claro, I think) where David got asked about Milos Raonic and it was obvious that he had no real idea who that was. Perhaps this has changed by now, with the young Canadian having climbed as high as #23 in the rankings. In any case, this is going to be a very tough opening match for David. And should he get through to the second round, Federer awaits...

A couple of days ago, the Madrid tournament website published an interview with David (English version here), during which the interviewer not only told David that he's "one of the most adored players by the Madrid public" but also asked him about his thoughts on the blue clay and what he has heard from other players about this "innovation". His reply:
It does grab your attention and I am looking forward to testing it out not just in terms of how it looks but also how the ball bounces on it.
What has been heard from other players, who are already practicing on it, is that apparently, the blue clay is more slippery than the red one and that the ball tends to stay low, making it more suited for slice than for topspin. Which sounds just like the "very strange" (David's words) court at Bamberg. Whether David will find himself being reminded of it remains to be seen but he'll have very little time to adjust to the conditions. How little time exactly, that will also depend on his semifinal match at Belgrade tonight. More about that soon.


  1. I'm keen and determined on watching the semi-final match after missing out on David's last match by getting home late, not being able to sleep, not being able to get up, then getting up thinking that I had only missed 20 minutes to find out I missed out the whole match (it had been 1 hour 20 minutes from the starting time).

    Should be interesting to see how the blue clay plays. David stayed quite diplomatic in his comment, lol.

  2. Very diplomatic, indeed. But well, they were willing to give him a WC, so of course he's not going to say - blue clay, what a totally stupid idea. And least of all in an interview for the tournament website...