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Djokovic Handed Tough Madrid Draw; Nadal, Federer In Same Half

Madrid, Spain

Djokovic© Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic has his work cut out for him in Madrid.

Novak Djokovic faces a brutal draw in his quest to reclaim the No. 1 Emirates ATP Ranking in Madrid next week.

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Playing his first tournament since losing to Roger Federer in the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters semi-finals two weeks ago, the second-seeded Serb could open his campaign against in-form Croat Marin Cilic, who is tied for second place on the 2014 match-wins leader board with 25 victories through the first four months of the year.

Should Djokovic reach the third round he would play the winner of a brutal bracket featuring 13th seed Fabio Fognini (also with 25 match wins on the year), Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov, who has made the biggest rankings jump this year of any player in the Top 50, World No. 20 Ernests Gulbis and No. 21 Jerzy Janowicz.

Djokovic, who must win the title and hope that Nadal falls before the quarter-finals to take back No. 1, is seeded to meet David Ferrer in the quarter-finals.

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Top seed Nadal, who has 2000 points to defend over the next two weeks as reigning champion in Madrid and Rome, opens against the winner of Jurgen Melzer and Juan Monaco and is seeded to meet Tommy Haas in the third round and either Tomas Berdych or Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals.

Fourth seed and three-time champion Roger Federer, who is in the top half with Nadal, will play his first match against the winner of Frenchmen Gilles Simon and Benoit Paire. He is seeded to meet Tommy Robredo, who upset the Swiss at last year’s US Open, in the third round and either Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Andy Murray in the quarters.

Making his 2014 European clay-court swing debut, Murray faces a tough opener against Nicolas Almagro, who last week upset Nadal in the Barcelona quarter-finals.

Third seed and 2013 finalist Stanislas Wawrinka, the only player to win three titles this year, opens against the winner of Russian veteran Dmitry Tursunov and a qualifier. He is seeded to meet either Milos Raonic or Barcelona champion Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals. 

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