Roger Federer will face David Ferrer in the 2012 Madrid Open on Friday, and once again, the Swiss star will shut down the Spaniard.
Ferrer has never beaten Federer in his career, and that trend will stay the same after they do battle on the blue courts in Madrid.
In the 12 matches against Federer, Ferrer has never won. The Swiss star owns him, and there is no way Federer is letting Ferrer pick up his first win tonight.
While Ferrer might be in better shape than Federer, the Spaniard won't be pulling off the upset. He's known for being a fit guy who plays very well on the baseline and is a tremendous returner.
Against Federer, Ferrer's return will have to be spot on, and he better be prepared to run because Federer is going to make him work a great deal. He won't excel at the net, but his return skills and foot speed will prevent him from being embarrassed by Federer.
However, the Swiss star has the mental edge, and that is the difference-maker here. Ferrer is approaching this battle hoping he can win, but he also knows he's never been able to beat Federer, which will constantly be on his mind, causing his downfall.
Any signs of struggle from Ferrer, and Federer will exploit them and quickly take the Spaniard down.
The winner of this match will advance to the semifinals were they will most likely face Novak Djokovic. I highly doubt the top player in the world loses to Janko Tipsarevic, but of course, stranger things have happened.
Federer has Ferrer's number, meaning the Spaniard doesn't stand much of a chance. He'll put up a valiant effort, but Federer has been and will always be better than Ferrer.
Federer's matches in the Madrid Open are excellent preparation for his time at the 2012 French Open. The Grand Slam event is very vital to his success the rest of the season, so he needs to finish strong in Madrid.
Having not won a major tournament in two years, Federer is hungry to get back on top. It won't be easy, unless of course he could just face Ferrer the entire time.