Milos Raonic is the only Canadian in the Madrid Open after Pospisil withdrew before the event from injury and Eugenie Bouchard went out to 3rd seeded Radwanska in the first round in the Women’s tournament. Milos was able to beat Frenchman Jeremy Chardy with ease today to set up this third round match with Kei Nishikori. In a tournament where the draw has really opened up this will be a huge match for Raonic, as Nishikori is likely his biggest competition in the bottom half of the draw and he is already facing him in the third round. Considering that Djokovic withdrew from the tournament and Wawrinka was upset in the second round, the bottom half of the draw is wide open right now. David Ferrer, John Isner, Alexandr Dolgopolov and Ernests Gulbis are the other top four players in the bottom half of the draw, but in my opinion the player that wins this match between Raonic and Nishikori will be the favourite to advance to the finals in Madrid.
Raonic vs Nishikori Round 3 Odds
- Milos Raonic 2.90
- Kei Nishikori 1.44
This match isn’t for a couple days, because it’s the first 3rd round match set at this time. Raonic is a pretty big underdog going into this match. That has to do with Nishikori having an amazing year so far with a 22-4 record, Nishikori winning the only match played between these two back in 2012, and him winning the ATP 500 event on clay in Barcelona a couple weeks ago with ease. In the tournament in Barcelona Nishikori dropped a set in his round of 32 match before simple destroying everyone to win the title. He lost only 4 games in 3 of his next four matches and only 6 to Gulbis in the semi-final. Before the Barcelona tournament Nishikori won 4 straight matches at the Miami Masters including wins over Dimitrov, Ferrer and Federov before withdrawing due to injury. Needless to say Nishikori is on fire at the moment. Raonic has only an 11-5 record this season and really hasn’t done anything extraordinary. It would be huge for him to make a deep run here, but beating Nishikori is going to be a very difficult task. Raonic is 3-2 on clay so far this season, but his losses did come to the eventual tournament winner in each case. If he can get his serve going he will have a chance as always, but I have to think he is in tough in this match. My pick would be Nishikori at odds of 1.44 from SportsInteraction.com. Here is hoping I’m wrong and we see some more Canadian content deep in this Masters event.