Rafael Nadal won his 23rd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title and a third at the Mutua Madrid Open in 2013, and returns after some early and unexpected clay court exits to retain his crown. He recorded his 30th match win in Madrid when he defeated the No. 15 seed Stanislas Wawrinka in a straight sets 6-2 6-4 victory – a ninth victory over the Swiss.
But times have changed and Wawrinka returns not just as last year’s finalist, but having defeated Nadal to claim the Australian Open and then went on to pick up his first Monte Carlo Masters title. The World No. 3 has to be one of the clear favourites, along with World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, although it remains to be seen if he has successfully recovered from a wrist injury that affected his play in the Monte Carlo Masters semi-final.