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Nadal, Murray Open Madrid Campaigns Wednesday

Madrid, Spain

NADAL, MURRAY IN ACTION: Four of the world’s top 10 players – Rafael Nadal, Tomas Berdych, Andy Murray and John Isner – take to court for their 2R match-ups on a busy Day 4 in the Spanish capital. Nadal opens his account against Juan Monaco, with the world No. 1 leading their FedEx H2H series 4-1. Murray also takes to the main show court for his opening match against Nicolas Almagro, who has 242 clay-court victories to his name. Berdych opens the day’s play on Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, as he takes on Kevin Anderson for the 11th time in less than two and half years, with the Czech leading their H2H 10-0, while No. 10 Isner goes up against lucky loser Marinko Matosevic. There are 11 singles and six doubles matches in action today.

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NADAL ON CLAY: The defending champion is bidding for his fourth Madrid title this week. The Spaniard, who is coming off back-to-back QF losses in Monte-Carlo (l. to Ferrer) and Barcelona (l. to Almagro), is 9-2 on clay this season with his lone title on the surface coming in Rio. The last time he lost more than two matches on clay in a season was 2004 (14-3 record). For the past nine years (2005-13), he has won at least two European Tour clay court titles coming into Roland Garros.

MILESTONE WATCH: Nadal will take sole ownership of 11th place on the Open Era match wins list with victory today. With a career mark of 683-134, the world No. 1 is currently tied with the great Arthur Ashe (683-225) in wins. If Nadal can surpass the American’s haul today his eyes will firmly be set on the top 10 and Boris Becker, who sits 10th on 713 wins.

MURRAY RETURNS: This is the British No. 1’s first ATP World Tour event on clay since Rome last year when he withdrew midway through his opening match with Marcel Granollers. He has appeared on clay in Davis Cup, however, posting a 3-1 mark this year in two ties vs. USA and Italy. His lifted the Madrid title in 2008 – the last year the tournament was held on hard courts – defeating Federer in the SF and Gilles Simon in the final. He has compiled three QF runs (2009-10, ’13) since the event switched to clay. The Scot has won 28 career titles but none have come on clay. 

RANKING RISERS: Alexandr Dolgopolov 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. The Ukrainian, who clinched his eighth top 20 win of the season when he saw off No. 13 seed Fabio Fognini in the 1R, goes up against another top 20 player – Ernests Gulbis – in the 2R. The pair’s FedEx H2H series is tied at 1-1 but it was Dolgopolov who ran out a 6-2, 6-4 winner when they met in Monte-Carlo last month.



[1] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs Juan Monaco (ARG)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Nadal leads 4-1

Nadal returns to Madrid for the 12th time. He has lifted the title here on three occasions: 2005 (d. Ljubicic), 2010 (d. Federer) and 2013 (d. Wawrinka). He has failed to reach the QF just once in the last nine years – in 2012 when he fell to Verdasco in the 3R. 
• In his last outing on the ATP World Tour in Barcelona, Nadal lost to Nicolas Almagro for the first time in 11 meetings in the QF. 
• Nadal opened the season by defeating Gael Monfils to clinch the title in Doha. Qatar was the 17th different country the Spaniard had lifted an ATP title in. 
• Nadal collected his 43rd clay-court title and 62nd overall when he defeated Dolgopolov in the inaugural Rio Open in February. The Spaniard equaled Guillermo Vilas in seventh place on the Open Era titles list with the victory. 
• In Monte-Carlo, Nadal became just the 11th player in the Open Era to win at least 300 matches on clay when he defeated Seppi in the 3R (l. to Ferrer in QF). Countryman Carlos Moya was the last player to win at least 300 career matches on the surface in 2007. 
• Nadal appeared in a career-high 14 finals in 2013, winning 10 titles. He returned to No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on October 7 and finished the season in top spot for the third time. 
• Nadal has been ranked in the top five longer than any active player (since May 9, 2005) and his total of 62 career titles is the second-best among active players (Federer 77). 
Monaco kick-started his tournament campaign with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Jurgen Melzer in the 1R. 
• Monaco is making his seventh appearance in Madrid. He has reached the 3R here four times but has never gone beyond that stage. 
• Monaco is bidding to register back-to-back wins for the first time this season. 
• Monaco finished 2013 ranked inside the top 50 for the seventh year in a row, highlighted by an eighth career title in Dusseldorf (d. Nieminen).

[15] Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) vs Feliciano Lopez (ESP)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Lopez leads 3-2

Youzhny registered his first clay-court match win of 2014 with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Benjamin Becker in the 1R. 
• Yozuhny returns to Madrid for the 11th time. He has reached the 3R just twice, on his debut in 2002 (l. to Grosjean) and last year (l. to Nadal). 
• Youzhny’s best showing of the season came in Dubai where he reached the QF before withdrawing with an illness. A back injury kept him out of action in the period between Dubai and Monte-Carlo, where he fell in the 1R on his return from injury (l. to Seppi). He also lost in his opening match in Bucharest (l. to Haase) and last week in Munich (l. to Klizan). 
• The top Russian finished 2013 in the top 20 for the fifth time in his career and the first since 2010. His year was highlighted by two ATP titles in Gstaad (d. Haase) and Valencia (d. No. 3 Ferrer).
Lopez notched his 90th career win on clay with a 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-2 victory over Sao Paulo champion Federico Delbonis in the 1R, saving 13 of 14 BPs during the encounter.
• Lopez returns to Madrid for the 13th time. He has reached the QF three times: 2003 (l. to Federer), 2007 (l. to Federer) and 2008 (l. to Nadal). He fell in the 1R on his last two outings here. 
• Lopez advanced to his only QF of the year in Delray Beach in February (l. to No. 142 Johnson). His highest ranked win this season came against No. 37 Edouard Roger-Vasselin in Acapulco. 
• Lopez finished 2013 ranked inside the top 50 for the seventh year in a row, highlighted by a first grass-court title at Eastbourne and third overall. He was one of six Spanish title winners in 2013.

Nicolas Almagro (ESP) vs [7] Andy Murray (GBR)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Murray leads 3-1

Almagro squeezed past Andrey Golubev 6-3, 6-7(9), 7-6(4) in the 1R, converting on his 11th MP. The Spaniard won 87% of points behind his first serve (49 of 56). 
• Almagro is making his eighth appearance on home soil in Madrid. The only time he advanced beyond the 3R here was in 2010 when he reached the SF (l. to Nadal). 
• In his last outing on the ATP Tour in Barcelona, Almagro posted his first career win over world No. 1 Nadal (1-10) in the QF (l. to Giraldo in SF). The Spaniard’s best showing this season came in Houston last month when he reached the final (l. to Verdasco). 
• Almagro finished 2013 inside the top 20 for the fourth year in a row (fifth in six years) and reached the QF or better 11 times (7-4). His streak of winning an ATP title for seven years in a row came to an end, however, with two final appearances in Houston (l. to Isner) and Barcelona (l. to Nadal).
• Almagro is 17-58 vs. top 10 opponents and 1-2 this year after his victory over Nadal. 
Murray has appeared here seven times. He lifted the title in 2008 – the last year the event was held on hard courts – defeating Federer in the SF and Simon in the final. Since the switch to clay, Murray has reached the QF in three of his four visits, never going beyond that stage.
• Murray advanced to his first SF since undergoing back surgery (in September 2013) in Acapulco in February (l. to Dimitrov 7-6 in 3rd set). He subsequently reached the QF in Miami – his third of the year after the Australian Open (l. to Federer) & Rotterdam (l. to Cilic) – before falling to Djokovic.
• This is Murray’s first ATP World Tour event on clay since Rome last year when he withdrew midway through his opening match with Granollers. He has appeared on clay in Davis Cup, however, posting a 3-1 mark this year. His lone defeat came against Fognini in a 3-2 loss to Italy. 
• Murray finished 2013 in the top four of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the sixth straight season. His year was highlighted by four titles, including a maiden crown at Wimbledon. 


Kevin Anderson (RSA) vs [6] Tomas Berdych (CZE)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Berdych leads 10-0

Anderson clinched his first clay-court win of the season, firing down 10 aces en route to a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Radek Stepanek in the 1R. 
• Anderson is making his fifth appearance in Madrid. He has never advanced beyond the 3R here. 
• Anderson posted his biggest win of the season in Indian Wells when he ended Wawrinka’s 13-match winning streak in the 4R and registered the 150th win of his career in the process (l. to Federer in QF). 
• Anderson reached the final at two events in February: Delray Beach (l. to Cilic) and Acapulco (l. to Dimitrov). He became the first South African to reach back-to-back ATP World Tour finals since Wayne Ferreira won titles in Ostrava (d. Washington) and Lyon (d. Sampras) in Oct. 1995.
• Anderson posted a career-best year in 2013. Despite missing a month after undergoing surgery on his right elbow in January, the South African became the first player from his country to finish the season inside the top 20 since Ferreira ended 2000 at No. 10. Anderson, who played NCAA tennis for three years at the University of Illinois, clinched 37 match wins during the year.
• Anderson is 5-31 lifetime against top 10 opposition and 2-3 this year with wins over No. 4 Ferrer in Acapulco and No. 3 Wawrinka in Indian Wells. 
Berdych is set to make his 10th appearance in Madrid. His best showing came in 2012 when he reached the final before falling to Federer in 3 sets. He reached the SF last year (l. to Wawrinka).
• After falling in the Australian Open SF (l. to Wawrinka), Berdych compiled an 11-match winning streak – the longest of his career. He kick-started the run in Czech Republic’s Davis Cup victory over the Netherlands before clinching his first title in more than a year in Rotterdam (d. Marin Cilic in F). The Czech then defeated world No. 10 Tsonga en route to the Dubai final where Federer ended his streak. His previous best unbeaten run was nine matches (2005-06).
• Since Dubai, Berdych’s standout performances came in Miami where he reached the SF (withdrew vs. Nadal due to gastroenteritis) and in Oeiras (l. to Berlocq in F after winning the first set 6-0). 
• Berdych finished 2013 in the top 10 for the fourth year in a row, reaching a career high of No. 5 in August. Despite reaching the QF or better in 15 of his 23 tournaments, Berdych was the only player in the top 10 not to win a title in 2013. 

Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) vs Ernests Gulbis (LAT)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Series tied 1-1

Dolgopolov notched his 20th win of the season with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 upset win over No. 13 seed Fabio Fognini in the 1R. It was his eighth top 20 win this year.
• This is Dolgopolov’s fifth outing in Madrid. He defeated world No. 5 Tsonga to reach the QF here for the first time in 2012 (l. to Del Potro). 
• Dolgopolov has risen from No. 57 to 22 in the Emirates ATP Rankings after a successful opening four months to 2014. In February, the Ukrainian reached the final in Rio de Janeiro, posting three top 20 wins – Fabio Fognini, Nicolas Almagro and David Ferrer – before losing to Nadal. He also advanced to the SF at the ATP 500 event in Acapulco (l. to Anderson) and the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells (l. to Federer). 
• At Indian Wells, Dolgopolov posted the biggest win of his career, defeating defending champion and world No. 1 Rafael Nadal 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5). He became the first Ukrainian to beat the reigning world No. 1. The 25-year-old defeated Nadal despite a first serve percentage of just 40. 
• Dolgopolov finished 2013 outside the top 50 for the first time since 2009. He reached one SF in Winston-Salem (l. to Monfils). 
Gulbis clinched his 50th career win on clay, firing down 18 aces in his 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-2 victory over Jerzy Janowicz in the 1R. 
• Gulbis is making his fourth appearance in Madrid. His highlight came on his last outing here in 2010 when he reached the QF before falling to Federer in three sets. 
• Gulbis climbed to a career-high No. 18 in February after winning the fifth title of his career in Marseille. He posted back-to-back top 10 wins over No. 9 Richard Gasquet in the SF and No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final, improving his record to 5-0 in title games. He has advanced to two SFs also at the ATP 500 events in Rotterdam (l. to Berdych) and Barcelona (l. to Nishikori). Four of his eight losses this season have come to the eventual champion. 
• The Latvian finished 2013 in the top 30 for the first time since 2010, jumping 115 spots from the previous year. He equaled his year-end best ranking (No. 24) and won a personal-best 37 matches. 
• Gulbis won two titles in 2013 – Delray Beach and St. Petersburg. His win in Delray Beach marked the first time a qualifier captured an ATP title since Jarkko Nieminen won Sydney in 2012. 

[11] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) vs [Q] Santiago Giraldo (COL)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Tsonga leads 1-0

Tsonga opened his account on Monday, posting a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 victory over compatriot Edouard Roger-Vasselin to reach the 2R. 
• Tsonga is making his seventh visit to Madrid. His best showing came last year when he reached the QF (l. to Wawrinka). 
• Tsonga reached his lone final this season on home soil in Marseille in February (l. to Gulbis).
• At Indian Wells, Tsonga fell in his opening match to compatriot Benneteau, a result which saw him drop down to No. 11 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on March 17 – his first week outside the top 10 since August 29, 2011. 
• Tsonga finished 2013 in the top 10 for the third year in a row and for the fifth time in six years, reaching the QF or better 10 times. 
Giraldo’s fine form continued as he edged past Lleyton Hewitt 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 in the 1R. 
• Giraldo returns to Madrid for the fifth time. He has never gone past the 2R here. 
• Giraldo’s highlight of the season came last month at the ATP 500 event in Barcelona where he defeated three top 30 players en route to the final (l. to Nishikori). 
• At Vina del Mar, Giraldo collected his 100th Tour-level match-win en route to the SF (l. to L Mayer).
• Giraldo finished 2013 inside the top 75 for the fourth straight year, highlighted by three ATP World Tour QF appearances – Acapulco, Bogota and Atlanta.


[LL] Lukasz Kubot (POL) vs Gilles Simon (FRA)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Simon leads 1-0

[LL] Marinko Matosevic (AUS) vs [9] John Isner (USA)

FedEx Head 2 Head: First ATP World Tour meeting

[12] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) vs [WC] Marius Copil (ROU)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Dimitrov leads 1-0

Marin Cilic (CRO) vs [Q] Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA)


Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) vs [Q] Igor Sijsling (NED)

FedEx Head 2 Head: Nieminen leads 3-2

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