Rafael Nadal & Andy Murray Charge Into 2015 Madrid Open Quarters

rafael nadal andy murray head into 2015 madrid open quarter finals

rafael nadal andy murray head into 2015 madrid open quarter finals

What a difference a resting Novak Djokovic makes as Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are ready to conquer quarter-finals day at the 2015 Madrid Open. The two are the only remaining former Madrid champs left with Spaniard Rafi going up against Grigor Dimitrov and Murray taking on Milos Raonic. Both tennis stars are making short order of their opponents and Murray, literally running on exhaustion fumes was able to take out Marcel Granollers in sixty-four minutes.

QUARTER-FINAL DAY: The 56-man draw has been whittled down to eight players, who are all in action on an intriguing Day 6 at La Caja Magica. Leading the way are Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, the only former Madrid champions left in the draw. Nadal goes up against Grigor Dimitrov for the sixth time having won all five of their previous meetings, while Murray will look to overturn a 3-2 H2H deficit when he takes on Milos Raonic. The other two QFs see the in-form Tomas Berdychclash with John Isner and David Ferrerreignite his rivalry with Kei Nishikori.

rafael nadal bulge at 2015 madrid open playing andy murray 2015

BIG FOUR DOMINANCE: Nadal and Murray will be aiming to extend the Big Four’s dominance at this tournament level. The quartet of Nadal, Murray, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have accounted for 42 of the last 46 ATP Masters 1000 tournaments (since 2010 Monte-Carlo). The only exceptions came at Paris-Bercy in 2010 (Robin Soderling) and 2012 (David Ferrer) and last year in Monte-Carlo (Stan Wawrinka) and Toronto (Jo-Wilfried Tsonga).

•    POINTS TO DEFEND: Nadal has a 13-3 record on clay this season. The last time he lost more than three matches on clay in a single season was in his rookie campaign in 2003. The Spaniard has 1,600 Emirates ATP Ranking points dropping off in the next two weeks with his Madrid title (1,000) and Rome runner-up (600) showing from last year. In the past six years Nadal has performed well at the two ATP Masters 1000 clay court tournaments leading into Roland Garros, reaching the final in 11 of his last 12 appearances at each of these events (Madrid five, Rome six).

•    FLYING THE FLAG: Isner is the first American to reach the QF of an ATP Masters 1000 event on clay since Andy Roddick in Madrid six years ago. He is a perfect 6-0 in Masters 1000 QFs.

•    BACK IN THE QUARTER-FINAL, AGAIN: Raonic and Ferrer have been two of the more consistent performers at this tournament level in recent times. The Canadian has now reached the QF or better at 10 of the last 13 ATP Masters 1000 events he has contested, while Ferrer has advanced to this stage at 11 of the last 13.


rafael nadal shows tummy while working andy murrays ball serve madrid open 2015
[3] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs [10] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)

FedEx ATP Head2Head: Nadal leads 5-0
2009     Rotterdam (Netherlands)            Hard    R16    Rafael Nadal    7-5 3-6 6-2
2013     ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo    Clay    QF    Rafael Nadal    6-2 2-6 6-4
2013     ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati    Hard    R16    Rafael Nadal    6-2 5-7 6-2
2014     Australian Open (Australia)        Hard    QF    Rafael Nadal    3-6 7-6(3) 7-6(7) 6-2
2014     ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (Italy)    Clay    SF    Rafael Nadal    6-2 6-2

•    Nadal advanced to the Madrid QF for the 10th time in the past 11 years, with a 6-2, 6-2 defeat of Simone Bolelli. The Spaniard posted a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Steve Johnson in his opening match.
•    Nadal is a six-time finalist at the Mutua Madrid Open, winning the title here four times in 2005 (d. Ljubicic), 2010 (d. Federer), 2013 (d. Wawrinka) and 2014 (d. Nishikori). He is on a 12-match winning streak at this event.
•    Nadal is contesting the 67th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 QF of his career (55-11 in QFs) and his 10th in Madrid (7-2 in QFs).
•    Nadal has a 13-3 record on clay this season with his losses coming against Novak Djokovic (Monte-Carlo SF) and Fabio Fognini, twice (Rio de Janeiro SF and Barcelona 3R). The last time he lost more than three matches on clay in a single season was in his rookie campaign in 2003.
•    In February, Nadal won the 46th clay court title of his career in Buenos Aires (d. Monaco), and is now just three short of Guillermo Vilas’ record clay court title haul of 49. His victory in Argentina ended a nine-month trophy drought dating back to Roland Garros 2014 (d. Djokovic).
•    In March, Nadal fell in the QF at Indian Wells (l. to Raonic after holding three MPs) and the 3R in Miami (l. to Verdasco).
•    Nadal lost his opening match of the season, 1R in Doha (l. to Michael Berrer), before reaching the QF of the Australian Open (l. to Berdych).
•    In 2014, Nadal finished in the Top 3 for the ninth time in the past 10 years (except 2012), capturing four titles in seven finals. The Spaniard extended his streak of winning at least one Grand Slam title per year to a record 10th year in a row with his ninth victory at Roland Garros. His 14 Slam titles are tied second all-time with Pete Sampras, behind Roger Federer(17).
•    Dimitrov clinched the 10th Top 10 win of his career (10-35) in the 3R, defeating World No. 9 Stan Wawrinka 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-3 for the second time in as many months. He also took three sets to get past Fabio Fognini in the 2R after easing past Donald Young in the 1R.
•    Dimitrov is making his third appearance in Madrid. He fell in the 3R on both his previous visits.
•    Dimitrov is bidding to reach his third SF at this tournament level. His only two final four runs came last season in Rome (l. to Nadal) and Toronto (l. to Tsonga).
•    Dimitrov arrived in the Spanish capital after a SF loss to Pablo Cuevas in Istanbul.
•    Dimitrov reached his fourth ATP Masters 1000 QF in Monte-Carlo last month (l. to Monfils). He fell in the 3R in Indian Wells (l. to Robredo) and Miami (l. to Isner).
•    Dimitrov began the year with runs to the Brisbane SF (l. to Federer) and 4R at the AUS Open (l. to Murray) before back-to-back 2R exits in Rotterdam (l. to Muller) and Acapulco (l. to Harrison).
•    Dimitrov’s defeat by then-world No. 169 Harrison in Acapulco was his first loss to a player ranked outside the Top 100 since February 2013 (l. to No. 130 Karlovic in Zagreb).
•    In 2014, Dimitrov finished a year-end high No. 11, winning a personal-best 50 matches and three titles on three surfaces: Acapulco (d. Anderson), Bucharest (d. Rosol) and Queen’s (d. F Lopez).

[16] John Isner (USA) vs [6] Tomas Berdych (CZE)

FedEx ATP Head2Head: Berdych leads 6-2
2009     Washington (U.S.A.)            Hard    QF    John Isner    6-3 6-7(10) 6-2
2010     World Team Championship (Germany)    Clay    RR    Tomas Berdych    1-6 6-1 7-6(4)
2010     Roland Garros (France)            Clay    R32    Tomas Berdych    6-2 6-2 6-1
2012     Winston-Salem (U.S.A.)            Hard    F    John Isner    3-6 6-4 7-6(9)
2013     Beijing (China)                Hard    QF    Tomas Berdych    7-5 6-2
2014     ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami    Hard    R16    Tomas Berdych    6-3 7-5
2014     Roland Garros (France)            Clay    R16    Tomas Berdych    6-4 6-4 6-4
2014     Beijing (China)                Hard    QF    Tomas Berdych    6-1 6-4

•    Isner became the first American to reach the QF of an ATP Masters 1000 event on clay since Andy Roddick in Madrid six years ago, defeating Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-4. The World No. 18 also saw off Adrian Mannarino andThomaz Bellucci in his opening two rounds.
•    Isner leads the way this week with 56 aces. He has held in all 43 of his service games so far, saving the lone BP he has faced.
•    Isner is making his sixth appearance in Madrid. This is the first time he’s gone beyond the 3R here.
•    Isner has a perfect 6-0 record in ATP Masters 1000 QFs. He has reach two finals at this tournament level: Indian Wells in 2012 (d. No. 1 Djokovic in SF; l. to Federer) and Cincinnati 2013 (d. No. 10 Raonic, No. 1 Djokovic, No. 7 Del Potro; l. to Nadal).
•    Isner’s last competitive outing came in Monte-Carlo where he fell in the 3R (l. to Nadal in 3 sets).
•    Isner’s season to-date was highlighted by a SF appearance in Miami last month (d. No. 6 Raonic in 4R, No. 5 Nishikori in QF; l. to Djokovic).
•    Since his since 3-5 start to the season, Isner has posted an 11-4 record.
•    Isner ended 2014 as the top-ranked American for the third straight season, finishing in the Top 20 for the fifth year in a row. He won two titles in Auckland (d. Lu) and Atlanta (d. Sela).
•    Berdych booked his place in the QF with back-to-back straight set wins over Frenchmen Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
•    Berdych has now reached at least the QF at all eight of the tournaments he’s contested this season.
•    Berdych is back in Madrid for the 11th time. He has now reached the QF-or-better six times (including this week) with his best showing a runner-up finish in 2012 (l. to Federer).
•    Berdych is aiming to reach his 18th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 SF.
•    Berdych’s last competitive outing came in Monte-Carlo where he reached a fourth ATP Masters 1000 final (l. to Djokovic in 3 sets).
•    Berdych finished runner-up in Doha in the opening week of the season (l. to Ferrer) before putting together a SF run at the Australian Open, where he defeated world No. 3 Nadal in the QF, ending a 17-match losing streak against the Spaniard (l. to Murray).
•    In February, Berdych advanced to the final in Rotterdam (l. to Wawrinka in 3 sets) and the semi-final in Dubai (l. to Djokovic in 3 sets).
•    In March, Berdych made the QF at Indian Wells (l. to Federer) and the SF in Miami (l. to Murray).
•    All seven of Berdych’s losses this season have come against Top 10 opposition.
•    In 2014, Berdych finished in the Top 10 for the fifth year in a row, winning two titles – Rotterdam and Stockholm – in a career-best five finals.

[5] Milos Raonic (CAN) vs [2] Andy Murray (GBR)

FedEx ATP Head2Head: Raonic leads 3-2
2012     Barcelona (Spain)                Clay    QF    Milos Raonic    6-4 7-6(3)
2012     US Open (U.S.A.)                Hard    R16    Andy Murray    6-4 6-4 6-2
2012     Tokyo (Japan)                Hard    SF    Milos Raonic    6-3 6-7(5) 7-6(4)
2014     ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells     Hard    R16    Milos Raonic    4-6 7-5 6-3
2014     Barclays ATP World Tour Finals        Hard    RR    Andy Murray    6-3 7-5

•    Raonic opened his account on Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Juan Monaco before downing Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 6-3 to reach the Madrid QF for the first time.
•    Raonic has yet to have his serve broken this week, holding 20 times and saving three BPs.
•    Raonic is visiting the Madrid Open for the fifth time. This is the first time he has gone beyond the 2R.
•    Raonic has now reached the QF or better at 10 of his last 13 ATP Masters 1000 events. He is bidding to reach the sixth ATP Masters 1000 SF of his career.
•    Raonic opened his season with a run to the Brisbane final (l. to Federer). He also reached SFs in Rotterdam (l. to Wawrinka) and Indian Wells, and the QF at the Australian Open (l. to Djokovic) and Monte-Carlo (l. to Berdych).
•    At Indian Wells, Raonic saved three MPs en route to a first win over Rafael Nadal, putting the Canadian into a fifth career ATP Masters 1000 SF (l. to Federer). He was the first player from his country to beat Nadal.
•    In 2014, Raonic became the first Canadian to end a season in the Top 10 after winning a personal-best 49 matches and capturing a sixth career title – and first at ATP 500 level – in Washington.
•    After overcoming Philipp Kohlschreiber for the second time this week in his opening match, Murray dropped just two games in a comprehensive win over Marcel Granollers to reach the QF.
•    Murray’s broken serve in a tournament-high 55% of his return games, converting on 11 of 17 BPs.
•    Murray returns to Madrid for the ninth time. He lifted the title here in 2008 (d. No. 2 Federer in SF, Simon in F) – the last year the tournament was played indoors. His best results since its move to clay were three QF outings in 2009 (l. to Del Potro), 2010 (l. to Ferrer) and 2013 (l. to Berdych).
•    Murray is contesting his 41st ATP Masters 1000 QF. He is bidding to reach a 23rd SF at this level.
•    Murray returned to action in Munich last week for the first time since taking a few weeks out to marry long-term girlfriend Kim Sears. In Germany, he captured the 32nd title of his career and his first on clay, defeating Kohlschreiber in the final. With the win he improved to 17-2 in finals against players ranked outside the Top 10.
•    Murray joined Andy Roddick and Manuel Orantes in 22nd place on the Open Era title leaderboard with his 32nd career title.
•    In March, Murray advanced to the SF at Indian Wells and the final in Miami, losing to Djokovic each time. With his 4R win over Anderson in Miami, Murray became the first British player to hit 500 wins. He defeated 185 different opponents from 50 different countries en route to the milestone.
•    Murray opened his season by reaching the Australian Open final for the fourth time (l. to Djokovic).
•    Murray has now reached at least the QF in 16 of his last 17 tournaments (94%), which is the highest percentage on tour over the last 10 months.
•    In 2014, Murray finished in the Top 6 for the seventh year in a row, winning three titles.

[7] David Ferrer (ESP) vs [4] Kei Nishikori (JPN)

FedEx ATP Head2Head: Nishikori leads 7-4
2008     US Open (U.S.A.)                Hard    R32    Kei Nishikori    6-4 6-4 3-6 2-6 7-5
2011     Tokyo (Japan)                Hard    R32    David Ferrer    6-4 6-3
2012     London Olympics (Great Britain)        Grass    R16    Kei Nishikori    6-0 3-6 6-4
2013     Australian Open (Australia)        Hard    R16    David Ferrer    6-2 6-1 6-4
2013     ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami    Hard    R16    David Ferrer    6-4 6-2
2014     ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami    Hard    R16    Kei Nishikori    7-6(7) 2-6 7-6(9)
2014     ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid    Clay    SF    Kei Nishikori    7-6(5) 5-7 6-3
2014     ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Paris    Hard    QF    Kei Nishikori    3-6 7-6(5) 6-4
2014     Barclays ATP World Tour Finals        Hard    RR    Kei Nishikori    4-6 6-4 6-1
2015     Australian Open (Australia)        Hard    R16    Kei Nishikori    6-3 6-3 6-3
2015     Acapulco (Mexico)            Hard    F    David Ferrer    6-3 7-5

•    Ferrer battled back from dropping the first set to see off compatriotFernando Verdasco, reaching the Madrid QF for the sixth year in a row and seventh time overall. The Spaniard opened his account with a comfortable 6-4, 6-0 defeat of compatriot Albert Ramos-Viñolas.
•    Ferrer is making his 13th appearance on home soil in Madrid. He has advanced to the SF twice, in 2010 (l. to Federer) and 2014 (l. to Nishikori).
•    Ferrer has now reached the QF-or-better at 11 of his last 13 ATP Masters 1000 events, including three this year in Miami (l. to Djokovic), Monte-Carlo (l. to Nadal) and now Madrid.
•    Ferrer is bidding to reach his 16th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 SF.
•    Ferrer has won three titles this year, bringing his career haul to 24. He captured the Doha title in the opening week of the season (d. Berdych), before posting back-to-back tournament wins at the ATP 500 events in Rio de Janeiro (d. Fognini) and Acapulco (d. Nishikori). He became the first player since Ivan Lendl in 1985 to win back-to-back tournaments on two different surfaces.
•    In 2014, Ferrer finished in the Top 10 for the fifth year in a row and sixth overall, reaching the QF or better 17 times, while clinching a lone title in Buenos Aires (d. Fognini).
•    Nishikori extended his unbeaten record on clay this year to seven matches with wins over David Goffin and Roberto Bautista Agut in his opening two matches.
•    Nishikori is back at the Madrid Open for the fourth time. He reached his first and only ATP Masters 1000 final here last year with Top 10 wins overMilos Raonic and David Ferrer (l. to Nadal).
•    Nishikori is bidding to reach his fifth ATP Masters 1000 SF (4-2 record in QFs at this level).
•    Nishikori successfully defended his title in Barcelona last week (d. Andujar). It was his ninth career crown and his second of the season, having won in Memphis in February (d. Anderson).
•    Nishikori rose to a career-high No. 4 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on March 2. He is the highest-ranked Asian player in ATP history. He has since dropped back down to No. 5.
•    In 2014, Nishikori ended the season at a year-end best No. 5 after registering a career-high 54 wins. His year was highlighted by four titles and maiden final appearances at Grand Slam and ATP Masters 1000 level (US Open and Madrid).