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Nadal, fresh from claiming his seventh title at the Barcelona Open, now moves to the other half of Spain into the Spanish Capital. The World No.2 would be looking to continue to improve his already unbelievable record on clay and with it, try closing the gap with the World No.1 Novak Djokovic. With his confidence growing, Nadal is one of the toughest guys to beat on clay as he prepares well for the upcoming French Open. He has fared well in all the tournaments he as played, his 22-3 win loss record indicates this fact. Rafa has been very vocal in his criticism of the blue clay being used here in Madrid and this will be his first match in the tournament. It will be interesting to see if the 'king of clay' is still the 'king on blue clay'.
Nikolay Davydenko comes into the tournament after a poor run of form. Now World No.54, the Russian is cleary ranked far below what his talents should reflect. The former World No.3 has a point to prove in this tournament and with a new surface being used at the event he could very well spring a surprise or two. Davydenko's best result this year came in Rotterdam where he reached the semifinals only to be undone by present World No.3 Roger Federer. His win-loss record this year stands at 8-8, and he would be looking to improve on it.
The two have met ten times in their career and to the surprise of many, Davydenko leads Nadal by two. On clay however, Nadal has won all three of thier past meetings.
TennisEarth pick: Nadal to win in two tight sets.
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