The clay-court action at the Manzanares Park Tennis Center is heating up as the 2013 Madrid Open gets set to conclude this weekend.
Some of tennis' big names including Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Victoria Azarenka have already been ousted from this week's tournament, setting the stage for what is sure to be a surprising weekend of singles tennis.
On the men's side, top dogs Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are all still alive and vying for the title as quarterfinal action begins on Friday. Meanwhile, in the women's draw upsets have been the theme, with three of the top five seeds having been sent home early, including Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na.
With the French Open just over two weeks way, time is running out for the sport's top stars to tune up their game and build momentum heading into the fortnight at Roland Garros.
Remaining 2013 Madrid Open TV Schedule
|Friday, May 10|| |
9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
|Saturday, May 11|| |
Men's Semifinal No. 1
Men's Semifinal No. 2
5 a.m. - 9 a.m.
9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
|Sunday, May 12|| |
7 a.m. - 9 a.m.
10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
*delayed coverage. Information courtesy of TennisChannel.com.
What to Watch For This Weekend
Door Wide Open for Rafael Nadal to Win Again
Rafael Nadal has made a triumphant return to tennis following his lengthy layoff, and could add a fifth 2013 singles title to his name with a win in Madrid this weekend.
Nadal's path to the crown has gotten much easier though with top seeds Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer both suffering early-round upsets on Tuesday and Thursday respectively.
Andy Murray could give the Spaniard some problems in the Sunday final assuming they both survive that far, but if there's one player in today's game who can really push Rafa on the clay it's Djokovic, who ended Nadal's remarkable streak in Monte Carlo last month and has beaten the Spanish star in three of their last six clay-court meetings.
Rafa is certainly eyeing the French Open as his biggest goal of the clay-court season later this month, but based on how focused and strong he's looked through his opening matches in Madrid this week, he's got to be considered the favorite to win it all this weekend.
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova Heating Up In Time For French Open
The top two ranked players in the women's game are looking very strong on the red clay in Madrid heading into the weekend.
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova have both won their way into the quarterfinals of the women's draw, and look poised to meet in Sunday's final with fellow top players Azarenka, Radwanska and Li Na having all bowed out early this week.
Williams, the current women's world No. 1, is the defending champion of this tournament. The 31-year-old ousted Sharapova in straight sets in the quarterfinals here a year ago, improving to 2-0 vs. the Russian star on clay.
Although it's hard to believe, Sharapova hasn't beaten Williams since 2004 when she won back-to-back matches against her older rival, including the 2004 Wimbledon final. Serena has won 11 straight matches against Sharapova over the past nine years, and has only dropped three sets to the 26-year-old over that time.
But as the reigning French Open champion, Sharapova no doubt has the weapons in her arsenal to get past Williams and win her first ever Madrid Open this weekend.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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