MUTUA MADRID OPEN 2014
Wawrinka, Ferrer Open Madrid Campaigns Tuesday
by ATP Staff|
WAWRINKA, FERRER IN ACTION: Two of the top five players in the Emirates ATP Rankings Stanislas Wawrinka and David Ferrer open their accounts on an action-packed Day 3. Last years runner-up Wawrinka goes up against the youngest player in the top 100, Dominic Thiem, for the first time. Ferrer, who will draw level with Mats Wilander (571) with a win today, takes on compatriot Albert Ramos, with the world No. 5 leading their FedEx H2H series 2-0. The 32-year-olds last defeat to a countryman other than Rafael Nadal came at the 2010 US Open when he lost to Fernando Verdasco. World No. 9 Milos Raonic kick starts his campaign today also, taking on Frenchman Jeremy Chardy. There are 12 singles and four doubles matches on todays schedule.
THE BIG FIVE? Wawrinka arrives in Madrid with a 20-3 record this season having won a maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open (d. Nadal in F) and a first ever ATP Masters 1000 crown in Monte-Carlo (d. Federer in F). In the 36 Masters 1000 tournaments preceding Monte-Carlo, Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and Murray had accounted for 34 titles (28 of the past 29 since 2011). The only exceptions over the last four years had come in Paris-Bercy in 2010 (Soderling) and 2012 (Ferrer). Wawrinka, who reached the final here in 2013, is 6-0 vs. top 10 opponents this season and has earned the most points in the Emirates ATP Race to London standings as of May 5:
RANKING RISERS: Alexandr Dolgopolov, who takes a 4-0 FedEx H2H record (2-0 this year) into his match with Fabio Fognini today, has made the biggest jump in the top 50 Emirates ATP Rankings since the close of 2013, rising 35 places from No. 57 to No. 22. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who takes on Kei Nishikori, has made the second-biggest jump, rising 25 spots from No. 63 to 38.
2014 MATCH-WIN LEADERS: Fognini and Marin Cilic, both in action today, have been two of the standout players during the first four months of the season, winning 51 matches between them. Heres a glance at those with the most wins this year:
DAY 3 FEDEX ATP HEAD 2 HEADS
 David Ferrer (ESP) vs [WC] Albert Ramos (ESP)
Ferrer returns to Madrid for the 12th time. He has reached the QF five
times, including the last four years in a row. He advanced to the SF just once,
however, losing at that stage to Federer in 2010.
Ferrer will join Mats Wilander (571) in 27th place on the Open Era all-time wins list with a victory today. He is also just five wins away from drawing level with former world No. 1 Carlos Moya (575).
Ferrer clinched his 21st ATP World Tour title in Buenos Aires in February when he defeated Fabio Fognini in the final, ending a seven-match losing streak in ATP finals.
Ferrers best performance at an ATP Masters 1000 event this year came in Monte-Carlo, where he ended a 17-match losing streak against Nadal on clay in the QF before falling to eventual champ Wawrinka in the SF. His win over Nadal was his fifth career victory over the reigning world No. 1: vs Nadal (3 times), Djokovic and Agassi. He also became the fourth player to beat Nadal multiple times on clay: Djokovic (3), Gaudio (3) and Federer (2).
Ferrer finished the 2013 season at a year-end best No. 3 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. It was the third year in a row he finished inside the top five and also the fourth straight year in which he won at least 55 matches. He played an ATP-high 84 matches during the season.
Ramos posted his first ever win in Madrid with a 6-1, 7-6(7) victory over Nicolas Mahut in the 1R. He is making his second appearance here, falling in the 1R on his debut in 2012 (l. to Delbonis).
Ramos best showing this year came in Buenos Aires where he reached the QF (l. to Ferrer).
Ramos finished 2013 inside the top 100 for the third year in succession. His year was highlighted by four QF appearances, which all came on clay.
FedEx Head 2 Head: Verdasco leads 1-0
2013 Hamburg (Germany) Clay R32 F Verdasco 6-4 3-6 6-2
Verdasco notched his 10th match win of the season with a 6-3, 7-6(3)
victory over Seppi in the 1R.
Verdasco is making his 12th appearance in Madrid. He has reached the QF here twice, in 2009 (l. to Nadal) and 2012 (l. to Berdych).
Verdasco clinched his first title in almost four years and sixth overall in Houston last month, defeating Almagro in the final.
Verdasco finished 2013 inside the top 30 for the seventh consecutive year. After a slow start (7-11 through Roland Garros), he compiled a 22-12 record the rest of the year.
Bautista Agut opened his Madrid account on Sunday, upsetting No. 16 seed Robredo 6-4, 6-4, saving the three BPs he faced.
Bautista Agut has posted two top 10 wins this year: defeating world No. 5 Del Potro at the Australian Open (l. to Dimitrov in 4R) and then world No. 5 Berdych in Indian Wells (l. to Gulbis in 4R). His best showing this year came in January when he reached the SF in Auckland (l. to Isner).
Bautista Agut finished 2013 in the top 60 for the first time, highlighted by a maiden ATP World Tour final appearance in Chennai in the opening week of the season (l. to Wawrinka).
Bautista Agut ranked No. 1 on the ATP World Tour for first serve percentage last year with 71%.
[Q] Dominic Thiem (AUT) vs  Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI)
FedEx Head 2 Head: First ATP World Tour meeting
Thiem, who is making his debut in Madrid this week, clinched his first
main draw win in the Spanish capital with a 6-4, 6-2 upset of world No. 32 Dmitry
Tursunov in the 1R.
Thiem has successfully come through qualifying a remarkable seven times this season. The only time the youngster failed to qualify in 2014 was in Acapulco where he lost in the final round of qualifying in a third set TB to Goffin. He is 17-1 in qualifying this year. Last year, the qualifying leaders were Brands and Giraldo, who both came through qualifying six times.
At 20 years and eight months, Thiem is the youngest player ranked inside the top 100.
Thiems best performance of the season came in Indian Wells where he advanced to the 3R on his Masters 1000 debut (l. to Benneteau). He also reached the 2R in Miami (l. to Robredo).
Thiem finished 2013 ranked inside the top 125 and was the youngest player to do so.
Thiem is 0-2 against top 10 opponents and 0-1 this year, falling to world No. 6 Andy Murray in three sets in the 2R in Rotterdam.
Wawrinka is making his eighth visit to Madrid. His best showing came last season when he defeated two top 10 players Tsonga and Berdych en route to the final (l. to Nadal).
Wawrinka has compiled a 20-3 record this season, clinching titles at three of the five events he has contested: Chennai (d. Roger-Vasselin), Australian Open and Monte-Carlo. In Melbourne, the Swiss posted three top 10 wins en route to his maiden Grand Slam victory, including a four-set win over world No. 1 Nadal in the final. In Monte-Carlo, Wawrinka clinched his first ever ATP Masters 1000 title, once again defeating three top 10 players en route to the title, beating Federer in the final. It was just his second win over Federer in 15 meetings between the pair.
Wawrinka enjoyed a standout season in 2013, winning a personal-best 51 matches (nine vs. top 10 opponents) and he was the lone new addition to the year-end top 10. His prize money total of $2,880,925 was his highest return in a single season something he has already topped this season, surpassing the $3m mark in the opening four months of 2014. The 29 year old was also one of just three players, including Nadal and Ferrer, to end the year with 20+ wins on both clay and hard courts.