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After struggling in his first match of the tournament, Novak Djokovic prepares to get his game back on track as he readies to face Stanislas Wawrinka in the third round here in the Spanish Capital of Madrid.
Nole has had a tremendous year so far and has already won the Aussie Open and the Miami Masters. After an unbelievable season last year, the Serb has not stopped and is still firing on all cylinders. Djokovic comes into the tournament as the defending champion and top seed. The Madrid Masters are again being built up as a battle between Rafael Nadal and Djokovic after the Spaniard outplayed the Serb in the finals of the Monte Carlo Masters. The Serb has since also skipped his home ATP event - the Serbia Open, sighting the passing away of his grandfather as his reason for it. Djokovic also said the same at Monte Carlo after being beaten by Nadal claiming he had 'no energy'. One has to wonder what kind of mind-frame, the champion is in before playing his first match of the event. Djokovic made bad weather of relatively unknown Daniel Gimeno-Traver in the previous round as he struggled through by beating the Spaniard 6-2,2-6,6-3. His win/loss record at this year stands at 25/3 and is the overwhelming favorite to win this match.
Wawrinka has displayed some wonderful tennis this year, but only in spurts. He would really need to pull a 'rabbit out of a hat' for him to defeat Djokovic today. He started the year off in Chennai and struggled all through January. He made his first semifinal appearance at Buenos Aires. He again made the semis at Acapulco, and also at the Estroil Open losing to eventual winner Juan Martin Del Potro in the semifinals.
In their eleven meetings against one another, the Serb has the clear advantage as he leads the Swiss by a massive 7 matches. Wawrinka would be hoping that the law of averages catches up with the World No.1, so he can get his second victory over him on clay.
TennisEarth's pick: Djokovic to prevail in two sets.
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