Last Updated on May 6, 2022
Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament got incepted in 2002 and got classified as ATP Master Series tournament then (ATP 1000 Masters now) the same year. It is one of the two tournaments in Europe, along with Italian Open, which is a WTA Tour 1000 tournament as well. It has been played on three different surfaces, starting as a hardcourt tournament till 2009 when its owner Ion Tiriac was successful in bringing sweeping changes in organizing the event. It was then played on Clay court in newly constructed Caja Magica complex with the inclusion of Women Singles as well. In 2012, it was played on a blue clay court with ATP’s permission which got revoked a year later owing to complaint of poor visibility by players.
Rafael Nadal is undoubtedly the King of Clay having won 13 French Open and 62 of his 91 titles on the surface. He has also tilted the GOAT debate in his favor when he won his 21st Grand Slam leaving Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic behind at 20 titles each. Gold medallist of 2008 Beijing Olympics in Men Singles, he has also won 36 ATP Master Tour titles. He is second only to Novak Djokovic who has 38 titles to his name. However, Nadal is the only player to have won more than 400 matches in Masters 1000 tournaments (403-84 till Madrid Open 2022) and is only two titles shy to achieve his Career Golden Masters (winning all the nine Masters 1000 titles) after already achieving the Golden Slam (winning all the four Grand Slams and Olympic Gold).
Rafael Nadal at Mutua Madrid Open
His record at Madrid Open is simply astounding having winning the tournament highest number of times by a singles player i.e., five (2005, 2010, 2013-14, 2017). This streak gave him a unique feat to win the title on two different surfaces, making him only one of the two players to do so. While the victory in 2005 was on hard court, rest of win came on clay court. Ever since the tournament switched surfaces in 2009, it served as a great preparation boost for his French Open campaigns as he won the title at each instance when he won the Madrid Open. He also stood runner-up at three occasions (2009, 2011, 2015) as well. His win-loss record at the tournament is 54-13 and he has never missed any edition of the tournament ever since he made his first appearance in 2003 at the age of 16.
Title winning performances
2005: In the absence of Roger Federer and defending champion Marat Safin, Nadal was top seed at the tournament and a heavy favorite to win it. He reached the finals without dropping a set defeating Victor Hanescu, fellow Spanidard Tommy Garces and Radek Stapnek in the process. He met Ivan Ljubicic in the finals and emerged victorious in a five-set thriller after being two sets down (3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6).
Video: Rafa Nadal vs Ivan Ljubicic Madrid Open Final 2005
2010: Seeded-second, he again reached the semis comfortably after registering wins in straight sets against Oleksandr Dolgopolov Jr., John Isner and Gael Monfils, In the semis, he defeated the unseeded Nicolas Almagro in three sets to setup an encounter with Roger Federer in the final where he again won in straight sets and avenged last year’s defeat.
Video: Rafa Nadal vs Roger Federer Madrid Open Final 2010
2013: Nadal was fifth seeded in the tournament this time. After defeating Benoit Paire and Mikhail Youzhny, he faced fellow countrymen David Ferrer in the quarters. It was the only watch of the tournament where he dropped a set as his victories in Semis against Wild-card entry Pablo Andujar and in finals against Stan Wawrinka again came in straight sets. With this win, he equaled Federer’s record of three titles.
Video: Rafael Nadal vs Stan Wawrinka Madrid Open Final 2013
2014: The defending champion was first seeded. He did not have much problems in reaching the finals as he did not drop a set against players like Tomas Berdych, Robert Bautista Agut. He faced Kei Nishikori in the finals who had to retire in the third set to make way for Nadal’s fourth title. But by that time, Nadal had momentum in his favour having been 3-0 up in the third set (2-6, 6-4, 3-0). With this victory, he became the first and the only man to defend the title since its inception in 2002.
2017: Nadal was fourth seeded and had a slightly difficult draw this time but he performed like a 4-time winner in the later stages of the tournament. His second-round encounter with Fabio Fognini was a three-setter (7-6, 3-6, 6-4). He defeated Nick Kyrgios and David Goffin next only to face Novak Djokovic in the Semis. He won the match 6-2, 6-4. In the finals, Dominic Thiem took the first set to tie-breaker lost it 7-6 against Nadal and final set was Vintage Nadal show won extended his title wins to five after winning it 6-4.
Video: Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem Madrid Open Final 2017
Rafael Nadal Titles in Madrid by years
Other Final Appearances
2009: Top-seeded Nadal eased past players like Fernando Verdasco, Philipp Kohlschreiber to face Djokovic in the Semis. Their contest went on for 4 hours 3 minutes which was the Open Era record at that time for long Best-of-three Men Singles match but Nadal emerged victorious with two sets decided in a tie-breaker (3-6, 7-6, 7-6). He met Federer in the finals who defeated him 6-4, 6-4.
2011: With straight set victories against players like Marcos Baghdatis and walkover against Juan Martin Del Potro, he was again up against Federer in Semis. After dropping the first set, he wrapped up the match quickly (5-7, 6-1, 6-3) to enter into third successive final. However, Djokovic got the better of him there, winning the match 7-5, 6-4 to lift his maiden Madrid Open.
2015: Third-seeded Nadal reached the final again without dropping a set against players like Grigor Dimitrov and Tomas Berdych but he was humbled by Andy Murray in the finals. He lost 3-6, 2-6.
Players with most Madrid Open Titles
|Player||No. of titles|
|Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic||3|
|Andy Murray, Alexander Zverev||2|
|Andre Agassi, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Marat Safin, David Nalbandian||1|
Roger Federer is the only player to win the title on three surfaces (Hard Court 2006, Red Clay Court 2009, Blue Clay Court 2012)