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By Akshay Kohli
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As the first ever tournament on blue clay starts, it is defending champion and Top Seed Novak Djokovic who starts as one of the favorites for this tournament alongside Former Champions like Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer(the only players to win this tournament on clay). With the draw out and some mouth watering clashes scheduled lets brace ourselves for the Mutua Madrid Open!
A draw of 64, with a bye to the Top 8 seeds, the first quarter sees Djokovic facing off against the winner of two qualifiers. With a probable quarter final with the winner of ninth seed Gilles Simon and Janko Tipsarevic, Djokovic also has the big serving Feliciano Lopez, who faces Former Top 10 Jurgen Melzer. Talented Stanislas Wawrinka squares off against a tricky opponent in Olivier Rochus.
The second quarter features some really dangerous players, with Federer featuring in this quarter. Federer faces the toughest second round by far as he takes on the winner of one of the biggest servers in Milos Raonic and a former World No.3 in David Nalbandian. He also has a probable third round against Richard Gasquet. With Spaniards like David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro colliding in the third round, they go on to face Federer in a probable quarterfinal clash.
The semi-final line up for the upper half, if goes according to the seedings, will have Djokovic facing Federer.
The lower half of the draw is no less, with Andy Murray not present, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga gets seeded at No.4 and as a decent route to the third round till he faces a really upcoming star in Alexander Dolgopolov, who faces a stiff challenge in Pablo Andujar. He is scheduled to play one of the two tall, lanky players in John Isner and Juan Martin Del Potro in the last 8.
The last quarter exhibits second seed and former champion Nadal facing off against the winner of Ivo Karlovic and Nikolay Davydenko. He also has Fernando Verdasco in his draw, schedule for a third round meet. His quarterfinal line up will be a very tricky one with a likely match between sixth seeded Tomas Berdych and Gael Monfils. There also is another former Roland Garros Champion in Juan Carlos Ferrero who might stun some and progress deeper in the tournament.
Stay tuned throughout as we cover the tournament and keep updating you with live commentaries and results! Comment on who you think will reign supreme in the 2012 Mutua Madrid Open!
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