• Djokovic set for title defense in Madrid

    5/6/12 4:12 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Djokovic set for title defense in Madrid Novak Djokovic will be going for his second career title in Madrid after triumphing last year over Rafael Nadal. Novak Djokovic is in a section of the draw that also includes Janko Tipsarevic, Gilles Simon, and Feliciano Lopez.

    Novak Djokovic, who withdrew from his hometown Serbia Open, will be making his first appearance since Monte Carlo when he takes the court this week at the Mutua Madrid Open. Djokovic, the defending champion, won his first Madrid title last season by upending Rafael Nadal 7-5, 6-4.

    The top-ranked Serb headlines a top quarter of the draw in which he will open against the winner of a first-round meeting between two qualifiers. Djokovic would then likely run into either Feliciano Lopez or Stanislas Wawrinka. Lopez, Madrid's 13th seed, reached the Munich semifinals while Wawrinka was a semifinalist in Estoril.

    Djokovic's nearest top eight seed, the second highest-ranked player in the section, is fellow Serb Janko Tipsarevic. Having also stayed away from the home tournament in Belgrade, Tipsarevic is coming off two unspectacular clay-court showings--a third round in Monte Carlo and a quarterfinal in Barcelona. He awaits either Estoril semifinalist Albert Ramos or a qualifier in his opener.

    Gilles Simon--not Tipsarevic--should be considered a favorite in a tough bottom half of this quarter. Simon, who beat Tipsarevic in Monte Carlo, captured the Bucharest title last weekend. Interestingly, he is set for a rematch of the Bucharest final right off the bat with Fabio Fognini in Madrid. The Frenchman is on course to meet either Marcos Baghdatis or Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in round two.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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