Right from the start, we all know this edition of the Madrid Open is going to be unique. It will be (probably) the last time we’ll see Federer, Nadal and Djokovic playing in a Masters event, on clay. That’s because Roger Federer avoided clay surfaces in the last years, and for a good reason: clay is harder to play on. Besides, even the Swiss might be the second best clay player ever, after Nadal, he just doesn’t need to put an extra pressure on his body, at almost 39 years old. Federer decided to play on clay this year not only in Madrid, but also at Roland Garros, which seems like a farewell.
Is Federer able to make a good game on clay?
We just don’t know how Federer will perform on clay, after all these years without playing on the red surface. He might be eliminated from the first match, he might reach the final or win the title. Nothing is certain, however, we do know that Djokovic and Nadal are slightly out of form. Djokovic was never a steady player on clay, but with Nadal things are much more complicated. He used to dominate the clay season, getting pretty much all the titles at stake and that helped him a lot in the rankings, over the years. This time, things are a little worse. Nadal did not manage to even play a final on clay, in Monte Carlo or Barcelona. He was sent off in the semifinals in Monaco (by Fognini) and in Barcelona (by Thiem).
And speaking of Dominic Thiem, this is the guy who has the best chances this year in Madrid. A specialist on clay surfaces, he’s showing a great form recently. He won Indian Wells (to much surprise) and went on to get the Barcelona trophy last week. All in all, he is the favourite, but Nadal follows closely. Even if the Spaniard is not in his usual top form, Terminator mode on clay, he’s still one of the main favourites. Failing in Madrid will be a huge blow for Nadal’s mindset ahead of Roland Garros. But we have to remember that the only clay tournaments Nadal did not fully dominate are Madrid and Rome.
Halep starts out as the favourite in the WTA competition
In the women’s competition there is one big favourite: Simona Halep. The Romanian is closely followed by Petra Kvitova, another good clay player and also the second seed. It’s hard to say how Naomi Osaka will perform in Madrid. Looking back her performances on clay in 2018, we can see that the Japanese is not doing great on the red surface. One great absence this year is Serena Williams, who decided not to take part in the tournament for unknown reasons. Maria Sharapova (injured) is also absent at the start, along with Venus Williams. We might see a clash between Halep and Kvitova in the final, as Halep is the third seed.
How to watch live online the Madrid Masters
The best option is to watch the Madrid Masters online with a betting site. This works for most users and it also the easiest option, as both ATP and WTA events are fully covered. If you cannot access a betting site, you can always turn to TennisTV or WTA TV. In the UK, Amazon is streaming live the Masters (I am not sure about the WTA event, though). If you want to access free live streaming, you can do it at your own risk at livetv.sx, but beware of adware and malware. The so called “free option” is not really recommended.