Rafael Nadal, currently ranked as No. 5 ATP is undoubtedly having a sensational season on clay so far. The Spaniard heads to the Madrid Masters 1000 tournament full of self-confidence and also in a position which lacked in the past two years. By winning Monte Carlo and Barcelona events, Nadal has shrunk dramatically the gap to the 4th place in the ranking, currently held by Stan Wawrinka. According to the official ATP ranking, Rafael Nadal has 5915 points, while Wawrinka can brag with his 6460 points.

Nadal shone in the absence of Djokovic and Federer

There were many voices that questioned the Spaniard's performance.

The main argument was linked by the absence of Djokovic and Federer who were surprisingly surpassed in Monte Carlo. Within the Barcelona event, these two do not usually play. However, in Monte Carlo, Nadal surpassed Andy Murray ( No. 2 ATP) in the semifinals, while at Barcelona it was not an easy task to overcome the Japanese star Kei Nishikori (No. 6 ATP). However, Madrid will be something else.

With the clay season approaching its climax, namely Roland Garros, all top players will definitely try to reach their peak performance. Given the current standings in Madrid, Nadal will have some crucial matches starting with the quarterfinals (if he gets there). The 5th place in the rankings can bring him a match in the quarterfinals against any player in the top 4.

Whether it will be Novak Djokovic,Andy Murray,Roger Federer, or Stan Wawrinka, the Spaniard will have to put in the maximum efficiency he can provide in order to advance in the competition.

Top 5 dynamic might change

These are the reasons why the tournament in Madrid may prove to be a turning point for Nadal`s season.

Moreover, the dynamics of the top 5 can become interesting. Andy Murray is the defending champion in Madrid. It represents 1000 points for the Scotsman to defend. Federer is certainly lurking. The 2nd place means a lot. Virtually it guarantees a no-Djokovic meeting until the final of the upcoming events.

Back to Rafael Nadal, the Spaniard has received only good news for the moment. Besides his praiseworthy results, the Spanish Olympic Committee decided that the former ATP leader is going to be the flag bearer for Spain at the Olympics in Rio.

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