Santana: Djokovic is the favourite for Madrid

Rublev defeats Garin to reach second round of Hamburg European Open

Madrid Masters tournament director Manolo Santana says that though he would love countryman Rafael Nadal to win this week’s event Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic was definitely the favourite.

Santana has managed to put together a very strong field for this year’s tournament with all the top 10 ATP players taking part.

In an interview with Planeta Tenis, Santana said he knew players would not disappoint him once they had given him their word that they would be participating in Madrid.

“When they promise something, players do it unless there are circumstances of force majeure. This year I went four times to the airport to welcome players,” Santana told Planeta Tenis.

When asked who he thought would win the tournament Santana said he would love to see Nadal win but felt Djokovic was the favourite to lift the crown.

“I would like [to see] Rafa winning, but I believe favourite is Djokovic,” said Santana.

“Anyway, we have a Rafa who is recovering by leaps the shape we all wish he has so that he arrives at the Roland Garros in the best condition.”

He added that the women’s tournament was very open due to the fact that world number one Serena Williams withdrew at the last minute.

“It is a big surprise because she never missed here, but for one reason and another could not be here.”