5/4/13 8:43 PM | Ricky Dimon
Novak Djokovic triumphed two years ago in Madrid but suffered a surprising quarterfinal loss to Janko Tipsarevic in 2012. This time, Djokovic finds himself in a section of the draw that also includes Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Stanislas Wawrinka.
After two weeks off following his triumph in Monte-Carlo, Novak Djokovic is back in action as he goes for a second consecutive clay-court Masters title. The world No. 1 headlines the Mutua Madrid Open draw as the top seed ahead of a star-studded cast of contenders that also includes Roger Federer, Andy Murray, David Ferrer, and Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic earned a first-round bye along with the other top eight seeds and he will begin his campaign against either Grigor Dimitrov or wild card Javier Marti. Dimitrov is 0-2 lifetime against Djokovic following a 7-6(4), 6-1 Indian Wells loss earlier this season. The 21-year-old Bulgarian, however, has been in impressive form and he is up to No. 29 in the world thanks to a 14-9 record for his 2013 campaign.
Djokovic's fellow seeds in the top quarter of the bracket are Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Milos Raonic, and Stanislas Wawrinka. Tsonga and Raonic are on a collision course for the third round, but Raonic's path includes an opener against Nikolay Davydenko and potentially a second-round date with either Fernando Verdasco or David Goffin. Tsonga likely awaits Alexandr Dolgopolov for his Madrid debut. Wawrinka, a current finalist in Oeiras, may be fatigued but he does have a favorable road to a possible third-round showdown against Djokovic.
This is a section loaded with qualifiers and wild cards. Like Dimitrov, Wawrinka is also facing a wild card in the form of Romania's Marius Copil. Both Dolgopolov and Martin Klizan will begin their weeks against qualifiers. Klizan could run into Wawrinka in round two.
Raonic vs. Davydenko and Verdasco vs. Goffin are the picks of the litter in the top quarter. The former will be a first-ever meeting between the two participants while the latter is a rematch of a 2013 Australian Open first-round thriller. Verdasco outlasted Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Find the latest tennis odds at Unibet.com
|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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