The Mutua Madrid Open continues to produce some remarkable matches early on this week in the draw, both for the men and the ladies, and the latest is no exception. 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer will begin his clay court campaign in Spain against Aussie youngster and rising star Nick Kyrgios. It will mark the first time that the two competitors will cross paths on the ATP World Tour and could make for an exciting affair on Wednesday evening.
Just last week, the world No. 2 won his third title of the season following a straight sets victory against Pablo Cuevas at the inaugural TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open. Federer stormed through the firsts set in 33 minutes but was slowed in the second set, where he fended off set point and required five match points to down the Uruguayan. In the end, he handed Cuevas his first defeat in an ATP World Tour final. It was also Federer’s 85th title overall in his career.
Federer will come up against Kyrgios, who defeated Daniel Gimeno-Traver on Tuesday afternoon in straight sets. The Australian native struck 10 aces, won 87% of his first service points and saved both the break points he faced during the match to earn the 6-2, 6-3 win in 61 minutes.
Given that Kyrgios has defeated Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon last season, there is a possibility that he can overcome Federer when he takes on the role of the underdog with nothing to lose again. The Australian Davis Cup coach, Wally Masur, seems to agree with that sentiment.
“I think Nick would really fire up and enjoy that. Probably that type of a match is where you’re really going to see the best of Nick, because he’s the underdog,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald. “I think he really enjoys that challenge of testing himself against those better players.”
Prediction: Roger Federer in Three Sets