The standout match on the schedule for Tuesday has to be the one between third seed Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic, who will face off in round two. It will be the fifth match at main tour level between the former Wimbledon finalists with Dimitrov leading the head to head 3-1. It will be the first time on clay though, a surface that would tend to favour the Bulgarian.
After a knee injury caused him to give a walkover in Monte Carlo, there didn’t appear to be any issues for Raonic in his opening round win against Nicolas Kicker. He served 17 aces in a strong performance, coming out on top 6-3 6-2. The second set was especially impressive for Raonic, dropping just 1 point across his four service games. It bodes well for this match although Dimitrov is sure to provide a much sterner test on return.
Dimitrov is confident after two reasonable showings in his clay tournaments this year, making the semi final of Monte Carlo and quarter final in Barcelona.“This year I’ve come a bit earlier to Madrid, I’ve got good memories of the tournament and I feel good. The most important thing you can do is try your best, and the best thing about tennis is that you’ve always got another shot at doing so the week after.” he said pre-tournament.
He has had some big wins at the event, most notably the 2013 victory over Novak Djokovic where he was backed by a raucous crowd against the World No.1. There is a possibility they could meet once again in the quarter finals with Djokovic looking improved in Monday’s straight sets win over Kei Nishikori.
Prediction – Grigor Dimitrov in three sets