Predicted Winners in BOLD
Albert Ramos vs. Nicolas Mahut – Surfaces don’t matter as much as they once did, but Mahut’s game is not overly tailored to clay courts. Ramos should advance.
Fernando Verdasco vs. Andreas Seppi – Hot sauce is hard to predict, but in the early rounds in his home country, I will take Verdasco.
Benoit Paire vs. Gilles Simon – I took Simon when I probably shouldn’t have in Melbourne. He came through. I’ll try again.
Santiago Giraldo vs. Lleyton Hewitt – Rusty on a hard court or grass court would be favored, but Giraldo doesn’t need to look for Al Capone’s vaults to be favored on clay.
Marinko Matosevic vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber – Kohlschreiber has been in a funk lately.
Jarkko Nieminen vs. Robin Haase – I’ll take the veteran lefty in a 50-50 match.
Marius Copil vs. Marcel Granollers – Granollers is always a tough out.
Dominic Thiem vs. Dmitry Tursunov – Tursunov’s renaissance is a nice story, but I just can’t see him doing much in Madrid.
Federico Del Bonis vs. Feliciano Lopez – I always pick against F-Lo early, and he wins. I should respect his early round abilities.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (11) vs. Edouard Roger-Vasselin – Tsonga played well enough in Monte Carlo to feel good in Madrid.
Grigor Dimitrov (12) vs. Pablo Carreno-Busta – Can Dimitrov string together good tournaments? That is his next task.
Mikhail Youzhny (15) vs. Benjamin Becker – Youzhny’s variety ought to carry him past Becker.
Kei Nishikori (10) vs. Ivan Dodig – Kei should be full of confidence after Miami and Barcelona.
John Isner (9) vs. Teymuraz Gabashvili – Isner is capable of good tennis on clay, but I think sooner or later the footing issues combined with his movement mean he loses.