Roger Federer showed that he's not going to let the blue clay slow him down.
Federer rallied from a set down to defeat Milos Raonic, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4) on Wednesday in the best match of the Madrid Open this week.
After struggling in the first set, Federer showed why he's the greatest of all time. He began to mix up his game a little more, coming into the net more often and making some great volleys.
Raonic served 21 aces in the two-hour 13-minute match, but Federer won the key points over the last two sets to win the match.
In the tiebreaker, Federer built an early mini-break, but gave it back on the ninth point. With Raonic serving at 4-5, the Canadian overhit a forehand in the corner to give Federer two match points. The savvy Federer nailed a return winner to seal the victory.
It was Federer's first match on clay this season, and he faced a tough opponent. However, Federer gutted it out, and I think he will be very dangerous now in this tournament. I picked Raonic to beat Federer at the start of the tournament, and it was close but Federer's experience proved to be the difference.
In other men's second-round matches, No. 2 Rafael Nadal, No. 4 Jo-wilfried Tsonga, No. 5 David Ferrer, No. 7 Janko Tipsarevic and No. 9 Gilles Simon all won their matches. The only big upset of the day, if you want to call it that, was No. 8 John Isner losing 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) to Marin Cilic.
On the women's side, the big upset was No. 3 Petra Kvitova losing 6-4, 6-3 to Lucie Hradecka. Kvitova, who I thought would be a dominant No. 1 this year, continues to struggle this year. I still think she's the most talented player in the game, but she just hasn't been consistent enough throughout the year.
No. 4 Aggie Radwanska won her second round match, while No. 1 Victoria Azarenka overcame seven double faults to win 6-4, 6-4 over Ana Ivanovic in third round action. No. 5 Sam Stosur and No. 8 Li Na also advanced to the quarterfinals with straight-set wins.
Business is definitely about to pick up as there a boatload of interesting matches tomorrow. No. 1 Novak Djokovic will play Stan Wawrinka, Nadal plays Fernando Verdasco, and Federer plays Richard Gasquet. On the women's side, No. 2 Maria Sharapova plays Lucie Safarova and No. 9 Serena Williams plays No. 6 Caroline Wozniacki.