Rafa Nadal already knows the route to follow in his 18th round at the Mutua Madrid Open. The draw for the men's team held this Friday brought the possibility of a very interesting debut against which many consider his future successor as the first sword of Spanish tennis: Carlos Alcaraz. The fratricidal duel would take place in the event that the Murcian pearl manages to overcome in the first round, from which Rafa is exempt by ranking, the Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.
Nadal, first seeded by the absence of world number one, Novak Djokovic, could find very hard stones on the way to overcome that initial pulse. Among them, the Austrian Dominic Thiem, who will start against a qualyfier. He or the Russian Rublev, who will debut against the Spanish Pedro Martínez or the American Tommy Paul, would appear in the semifinals. Before, in the quarterfinals, the most feasible threat would be those of the German Zverev, whose debut will be against the Japanese Nishikori or the Russian Khachanov. The Italian Sinner, whose first opponent will be the Argentine Pella, could run into Rafa in the second round.
What would be the hypothetical path of Nadal to the final?
R32. Mannarino or Alcaraz
– #MMOPEN (@MutuaMadridOpen) April 30, 2021
Roberto Bautista will also travel on that same side of the table, who will be measured with a tennis player from the previous phase in the first instance, and Jaume Munar, paired with a bone like the Australian De Miñaur.
Medvedev and Tsitsipas, on the other side
Rafa avoids until a hypothetical end to the Russian Medvedev, second seed who will debut before the winner of the clash between Malaga's Davidovich and someone from qualifying. In the opposite sector of the board are other applicants such as the Greek Tsitsipas, which will be released before the French Paire or the Georgian Basilashvili; the Argentine Schwartzman, who will do it against the French Humbert or the Russian Karatsev; and the Italian Berrettini, who will be the opponent of his compatriot Fognini or a tennis player from qualifying.
Apart from Davidovich, the Spaniards in this area are Albert Ramos, who will start against the American Fritz; Verdasco from Madrid, who will have to surpass Chilean Garín; Y the Asturian Carreño, first date of a qualyfier yet to be defined.