The 2022 Madrid Masters begins on Thursday with the women’s singles draw. Here are five intriguing storylines leading up to the start of the event.
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5) Iga Swiatek withdraws.
The world number one on the WTA Tour will not be participating this week because of an arm injury. It has been a great 2022 tennis season for Swiatek so far as she won Indian Wells and Miami.
4) Bianca Andreescu Returns
Bianca Andreescu of Canada will be participating this week in Madrid.
The 2019 U.S. Open champion returned to the court in Stuttgart last week after a six-month absence to work on her mental health. Her first round opponent will be Alison Riske of the United States. Andreescu beat Riske in the fall in Indian Wells, 7-6, 5-7, 6-2.
Right now according to betonline.ag, Andreescu is the favourite at -217, while Riske is at +187.
3) Three Elite WTA First Round Matches
There are three spectacular first round matches in Madrid.
- 2021 U.S. Open finalist and 17th seed Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada versus 2014 French Open semifinalist Andrea Petkovic of Germany;
- 2021 French Open semifinalist and 2021 U.S. Open semifinalist Maria Sakkari of Greece (the fourth seed) versus 2017 U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys of the United States;
- 2021 Wimbledon and U.S. Open semifinalist Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus (the third seed) versus Amanda Anisimova of the United States (the 2019 French Open semifinalist).
The current odds have Sakkari (-167) the favourite over Keys (+147), and Sabalenka (-126) the favourite over Anisimova (+106), according to betonline.ag.
2) Carlos Alcaraz Comes In Red Hot
Carlos Alcaraz of Spain enters the Madrid Masters with a ton of success as of late.
The 18-year-old phenom has won the Miami Open, where he beat Casper Ruud of Norway, in the final 7-5, 6-4. Then this past week, he beat fellow Spaniard, Pablo Carreno Busta, 6-3, 6-2.
1) Rafael Nadal Confirms Participation
The King of Clay will be attending.
Rafael Nadal of Spain is returning to tennis after dealing with a painful rib injury that impacted his performance at Indian Wells. Nadal won the 2005, 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2017 Madrid Masters.
Due to the fact Nadal has completely dominated the Barcelona Open, the Monte Carlo Masters and French Open in the past, the fact that Nadal has only won five times in Madrid may be a surprise to many.
There is no doubt that Nadal and Alcaraz should be considered the co-favourites in Madrid.