MADRID – Spain’s Rafael Nadal will face the winner of a match between Canada’s Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime in the second round of the 2019 Madrid Open, while the soon-to-be retired David Ferrer is set to meet Roberto Bautista Agut in a first round match.
Nadal, who has a record of five Madrid Open titles, will be seeded second behind Serbian two-time champion Novak Djokovic, who will play the winner between Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria and a to-be-determined qualifier.
If Nadal wins his second round match, the 32-year-old could face Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in the round of 16 and then No. 6 seed Kei Nishikori of Japan in the quarterfinals.
Swiss stalwart Roger Federer, who has won three singles titles in Madrid, will return to clay for the first time since the 2016 Italian Open with a match against the winner between France’s Richard Gasquet and Alejandro Davidovich of Spain.
Besides Nadal, there are four Spaniards competing in the main draw of the second clay court ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the season.
Fernando Verdasco and Jaume Munar will start their campaign against Radu Albot of Moldova and Karen Khachanov of Russia, respectively, in addition to the first round clash between world No. 21 Bautista Agut and Ferrer, who is set to retire professionally after the tournament set to kick off on Sunday.
The winner of the Ferrer-Bautista Agut duel will square off against defending champion Alexander Zverev of Germany.
“It is not the best match the tournament management would have liked for Ferrer, but tennis is like that,” the tournament director Feliciano Lopez said.
Meanwhile, world No. 8 Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina is set to take on the either Dusan Lajovic or Laslo Dere of Sebria.
Dominic Thiem of Austria is scheduled to meet either Pablo Carreño of Spain or a qualifier yet to be decided.
“The level of players this year is incredible,” Lopez added after the draw in men’s singles for the Madrid Open, stressing they are “very confident” Nadal will put on a good performance to enable him to reach the finals.