One of the most intense weeks of the year as far as tennis is concerned in tournaments that are not Grand Slam, in the case of WTA it is a Premier Mandatory of which there are only 4 in the whole year, so here are all the best players on the circuit... In addition except for the last minute low Serena Williams is not missing any of the top players, so the tournament is very open and there is much equality when analyzing and predicting winner.
It is important that you listen to the audio because there you can hear a lot of information in addition to the picture of the painting and the written summary.
In the upper part of the draw we can see great players, and for this tournament in particular I see more quality, players like Halep, Stephens, Azarenka, Keys, Stosur, Pliskova, Muguruza, Kvitova or Kasaktina.
Halep is arriving with bad feelings to the tournament, many physical problems (theoretically she is in perfect condition) and although she has won the tournament the last two editions I don't see her reaching the semifinals.
As you can see in the draw I thought Keys would eliminate Halep, but after the first round (Keys was already eliminated) I think Halep will reach the quarterfinals where I expect Azarenka to reach despite the difficulty of beating Pliskova and then Stephens or Stosur.
The other semi-final I see more clear, Muguruza needs to do well in Madrid for once, and with Kasaktina in trouble she should at least be in the quarter-finals.
The big question mark on the other side is how Kvitova will respond to her fatigue after winning in Prague.
I personally think that if it does not affect her she is a very difficult player to beat no matter how well you play, but I think Kontaveit will take advantage of the Czech's fatigue and will reach the quarterfinals, losing to Muguruza who will reach the semifinals against Azarenka.
A great match-up for the tournament if this goes ahead and with Muguruza under less pressure to make it past the second round for the first time, it will be the Spaniard who will be in Saturday's final.
At the bottom I see more options for surprise, Svitolina I think it will be the first surprise falling to Carla Suarez and this will allow the Spaniard to reach the quarterfinals. Her opponent I think will be the French Garcia who has left me very good feelings in his debut, and in previous tournaments.
I don't expect much from Wozniacki, the court doesn't suit her game and I don't think she will get very far despite being the second seed... I don't expect much from Osaka who is one of the sensations of the first part of the year but I haven't liked the way she has played on clay in previous matches.
With these data I trust Sharapova, despite being out of form, the Russian is very eager, she has been training for many days in Madrid and this is a tournament that is very good for her, and where she always gets very good results.
Replaying the great match they played in Stuttgart, Garcia and Sharapova will give us a great semifinals where I expect a great Sharapova to gain confidence as the matches and rounds progress.
The final desired by the organisers is the one I expect to be played, the best Spanish player for many years, against the most mediatic player, full house and spectacle assured.
At this point I think Muguruza would be favourite but the difference in odds for Sharapova as the winner of the tournament, makes me go for the Russian when it comes to give the winner of this Mutua Madrid Open women.
Sharapova to win at odds 17.00
Finalists Sharapova and Muguruza at odds 67.00
Sharapova to win her fourth at odds 6.00
Sharapova will go further than Wozniacki odds 2.50
Kvitova will go further than Pliskova odds 1.90
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