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Madrid Open 2013 Schedule: Highlighting Friday's Top Matches

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 08:  Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates defeating Benoit Paire of France during day five of the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament at the Caja Magica on May 8, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IMay 10, 2013

We are getting down to the wire in the 2013 Madrid Open. 

After Roger Federer's shocking loss to Kei Nishikori in the third round Thursday, the tournament has been shaken up a bit. Some are pointing to the determined Rafael Nadal to win his fifth singles title of the year.

But Nadal isn't the only big name still remaining. Don't forget about Andy Murray.

Here's a breakdown of the most exciting matchups in the 2013 Madrid Open on Friday.

*For the complete schedule of play, check out ATPTour.com.

 

David Ferrer (4) vs. Rafael Nadal (5)

When: Not before 9:15 a.m. ET

Rafael Nadal may be the No. 5 seed at the Madrid Open, but the 26-year-old Spaniard has been rolling in 2013 after suffering tendinitis in 2012.

Nadal is 28-2 this year leading up to his matchup with Ferrer. That includes four singles titles. 

Nadal is also 17-4 lifetime against Ferrer. He's won their last six matchups, including their clash in Acapulco this year, in which he won in straight sets in 65 minutes.

Nadal said after his straight-set victory against Mikhail Youzhny in the third round, via ESPN, "Sometimes I have pain. I try to avoid talking about it as much as possible. With respect to my rivals it's not the moment to analyze how I am."

But you can't help but analyze. Nadal ranks in the top 10 this year in first-serve points won, second-serve points won, service games won, first-serve return points won, second-serve return points won and break points saved, according to ATPTour.com

While Nadal may still be bothered by his left knee, nobody should take him lightly. He's playing at a high level when on the court this year. Expect him to advance past Ferrer to the semifinals.

 

Andy Murray (3) vs. Tomas Berdych (6)

When: Not before 2 p.m ET

After a breakout campaign in 2012, the world expected big things out of Andy Murray this year. But while he's gone 20-3 (including two singles titles), he's also lost against Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro and—most recently—Stanislas Wawrinka.

Still, Murray has won his last two matchups against Tomas Berdych, and three of their last four clashes. Also, Berdych already has eight losses this season, including defeats to Roberto Bautista Agut, Fabio Fognini and Tommy Robredo. It took him three sets to get through Jerzy Janowicz in the first round of the Madrid Open.

Murray may not be performing at an astronomical level this year, but he has enough to get through Berdych.

 

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (7) vs. Stanislas Wawrinka (13)

When: Not before 2 p.m. ET

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is 3-1 lifetime against Wawrinka, but all four of their matchups have been close. That figures to make their clash Friday a fun match to watch.

Tsonga is 19-6 this season, including a title in Marseille. He also beat Wawrinka in Monte Carlo in April, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Wawrinka has gone 20-8 this season. Since his loss to Tsonga, he's won his last seven matches, including a victory over Ferrer in the Portugal Open in early May. Then again, Wawrinka still lost to Tsonga this year. 

This is a very close match to call. Wawrinka could conceivably shock Tsonga as he did Ferrer. But I'm going to give the edge to Tsonga because I believe he's been slightly better in 2013. Four of his six losses have come against Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Marin Cilic.

 

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