Who wins the Madrid Masters 2017?
The 2017 Madrid Masters will be played from May 5th to May 14th this year. As part of the lead-up to the French Open the tournament is an important part of the clay-court season. One thousand ranking points will be at stake directly with the result of the tournament and the winner will surely be considered one of the favorites to win the title at Roland Garros.
Since the tournament is a part of the Masters Series, it will feature a deep cast of talent from the ATP Tour. All players that are fit to play and ranked high enough are expected to contest the draw.
In the 2017 tournament, the past champions that are expected to be in the field will be the Big Four: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, and Novak Djokovic. They are the only active players that have won the tournament. In fact, these four players have won all of the titles in Madrid since the 2008 tournament when it was still a hard-court event. If one of these players was to win the tournament in 2017, then that would mark ten years of dominance in Madrid.
One key player outside of the Big Four may end up being Dominic Thiem. The Austrian takes his lumps on the cement, however he remains the best young player on the clay-court surface. With a title on dirt already this season from the South American clay-court swing, perhaps there is more to come for Thiem. He did enjoy a run to the semifinals of the French Open last season, proving that he has significant clay-court aptitude.
There are plenty of other clay-court tournaments to be played ahead of the Madrid Masters. Most notably there is the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, a tournament that starts in mid-April. Furthermore, there are smaller events in Barcelona, Budapest, Munich, Estoril, and Istanbul. Immediately following Madrid there is a Masters Series event in Rome that's followed by a couple low-tiered events in Geneva and Lyon. It all builds up to the French Open, which this years starts on May 28th.
However, Madrid is a special tournament as it's the biggest clay-court event in Spain, Rafael Nadal's home country. If the Spaniard is playing his best then he can't be looked passed as the favorite, having won the tournament four times in his career.