As the ATP calendar is moving deeper into the clay court session, the status quo at the top of the ranking is becoming subject to some possible changes. Despite being well ahead of the herd, Andy Murray, the world no. 1 and a runner-up in 2016, would want to produce an elevated level of Tennis in the Spain's capital. Mutua Madrid Open is the second Masters 1000 held on clay and it's gathering almost all the top players in its main draw.

The upper half of the draw where Murray got a slot is nowhere near to an easy one as his trajectory towards the higher stages is being populated with a lot of dangerous opponents.

Andy Murray shares the draw with Wawrinka, Thiem and Pouille

The first seed in Madrid, Andy Murray received a bye in the first round and is set to play against Marius Copil (104 ATP) in the next one. The 26-year-old Romanian made the most out of the wild-card entry he received by edging Guillermo Garcia-Lopez at the end of a dazzling encounter which lasted nearly 3 hours.

Murray and Copil are looking ahead for their first meeting on the ATP World Tour mostly because the Romanian is more like a newcomer on the ATP Tour. He used to play mostly on the Challenger Tour but it seems that the current season brought him up to a new level of expectations. He made an appearance in the main draw earlier this year in Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells though having little success.

If he gets past Copil, Murray could face Lucas Pouille (13 ATP). The projection puts Dominic Thiem as the mot likely opponent Murray could have in the quarterfinals while for the semi-finals Stan Wawrinka or Marin Cilic are looming from the second quarter of the draw. Cilic seems in a quite good shape as he ousted Milos Raonic in Istanbul's final.

As it's known, the clay court has a tendency to disrupt any given order or projection, a pattern well-observed during the previous tournaments.

So far, the clay swing was not fruitful for the world no. 1 as he struggled both in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona. Recovering from an elbow injury, he is yet to find the right approach while competing.

His status as the world no. 1 is not a certainty for the future

Whether on the clay court or grass, the upcoming months will be crucial for the Scot as he will have to defend huge loads of points. In Madrid and at the French Open he was a runner-up back in 2016, while Rome, Queen's and Wimbledon were all the way journeys.

The good news is that Djokovic has to deal with a similar scenario which means that only Nadal, Wawrinka or Federer might cast a little bit of danger. Nadal has already put a statement by winning back-to-back events in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona while Wawrinka and Federer represent the riddles yet to be solved.

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