Two back-to-back quarterfinals defeats - against David Ferrer in Monte Carlo and against Nicolas Almagro in Barcelona - made World no. 1 Rafael Nadal question his career on a philosophical front.
"Maybe it's normal to lose...in the quarterfinals. Maybe what's not normal is what happened during the past nine years," Nadal had said on his arrival to Madrid. His fans, though, believe it's completely normal to see the Spanish top seed on a winning streak through and through. Hopeful to prove his fans right, Nadal opens his bid to defend the title at the Madrid Open on Wednesday afternoon.
Where to watch live [Action starts at 2.30 pm IST; 9.45 local time]
Rafael Nadal vs Juan Monaco starts at 6.45 pm IST, 2.15 pm GMT, 3.15 pm local time. The Live Coverage will be on Star Sports in India. Global online viewers, can live stream the live action HERE and HERE. ESPN will have live coverage for US and Australia, but to watch the action live online, click HERE or HERE.
There's added responsibility on the Spaniard after he was named the adopted son of the city of Madrid on Monday in honour of his prosperous tennis career that includes 13 Grand Slams [eight French Open titles, twice a Wimbledon champ, two US Open trophies and one Australian Open].
It's not just important to win the Madrid Open to defend his title, but the win will secure his top position in the rankings. With world no. 2 Novak Djokovic having withdrawn due to wrist injury, Nadal should have lesser issues to deal with. His first encounter would be against Juan Monaco in round two.
In news from Tuesday, Austrian qualifier Dominic Thiem stunned World No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 to record his biggest career win.
"I cannot really believe it," an elated Thiem said after the win. "I was in this famous zone during the match. I was unbelievably focussed. I think that's how you can play these very good matches, if you are 100 per cent focussed and 100 per cent out on the court."
This was his first victory over a top ten player. The 20-year-old winner will play the winner between Russian Mikhail Youzhny and Spaniard Feliciano Lopez in round three.