Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal poses with his trophy as he celebrates after winning Austrian tennis player Dominic Thiem at the end of the ATP Barcelona Open “Conde de Godo” tennis tournament final in Barcelona on April 30, 2017. Nadal won 6-4, 6-1. Josep LAGO / AFP
We witnessed a lot of exciting moments last week in the sporting world, from Formula One to Boxing and also on the Tennis courts. This week definitely promises more sparks as I run you quickly, through what to expect.
The Madrid Masters which officially started last Friday will kick into full gear this week as the top guns will get into action. In the male category, Rafael Nadal, who won his tenth Barcelona Open title last week, will be looking for a fifth title at this event, while defending champion Novak Djokovic, who is having a poor season by his standards, will want to defend his title and Andy Murray will also be there to try and win the title for the first time in his career. Other big names that will be competing at the event are the likes of Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic, Dominic Thiem and Marin Cilic
In the female category, home girl, Garbine Muguruza, who has never gone past the second round of this tournament, will try to win the title in front of her fans as it is an open field with the absence of pregnant Serena Williams. Defending champion Simona Halep will try to defend her title, however, she should expect tough challenges from the likes of Angelique Kerber, Karolina Pliskova, Agnieszka Radwanska and Dominika Cibulkova. Maria Sharapova will be one of the biggest stories at this year’s Madrid Open, which has granted one of its final-draw wildcards to the Russian.
The Giro d’Italia is already under way and defending champion Vincente Nibali will have to outlast the likes of Nairo Quinana, Andre Greipel and Thibaut Pinot, while Geraint Thomas will be leading the line for Team Sky.
After the successful Doha leg of the IAAF Diamond League last week, the Shanghai leg will be taking place this weekend and it also promises to be very exciting. The men’s and women’s discus events in Shanghai will be held as part of a single competition, with alternating men’s and women’s rounds and that should be one of the highlights of the night. In the male category, Olympic champion Christoph Harting will compete against the likes of Poland’s world and European champion, Piotr Malachowski; the world and European silver medalist, Philip Milanov of Belgium; and fellow German Daniel Jasinski, who bagged bronze in Rio. Double Olympic Champion Sandra Perkovic and reigning women’s world champion Denia Cabellero will face off in the female category. The field also includes Olympic Silver medalist, Melina Robert-Michon of France and Germany’s world bronze medalist Nadine Müller.
The Spanish Grand Prix will be take place this weekend and Lewis Hamilton will be looking for a better race than the last one in Russia, if he doesn’t want Sebastian Vettel to increase his lead over him. The Englishman will also have to be wary of his team-mate, Valteri Bottas, who showed with his win in Russia, that he should also be taken as a serious contender for the title. This promises to be a very exciting race.