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Nadal to open Madrid defense vs. Melzer or Monaco

May 2, 2014

MADRID (AP) — Rafael Nadal will start his defense of his Madrid Open title by playing the winner of the first-round match between Jurgen Melzer and Juan Monaco.

Nadal needs to reach the quarterfinals to ensure he keeps his No. 1 ranking. If he doesn’t, Novak Djokovic could take his place by winning the tournament.

Friday’s draw also put Nadal on the same side of the bracket as fourth-seeded Roger Federer and seventh-seeded Andy Murray.

The second-seeded Djokovic opens against either Martin Cilic or Joao Sousa, with fifth-seeded David Ferrer and third-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka potentially in his path to the final.

Serena Williams will start her title defense as the top-seeded woman, getting a bye before playing the winner of China’s Peng Shuai and Japan’s Kurumi Nara.

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