Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep might both be top seeds and defending champions, but it’s a mark of the Spaniard’s dominance on clay that he is such an overwhelming favourite, while the women’s draw is far more evenly contested among the leading players.
The data also suggests that the bottom quarter, headed by Caroline Wozniacki, is the toughest in the women’s draw, while the third quarter, which includes a first-round contest between Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori, is the hardest in the men’s draw.
Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas has earned his place among the leading contenders with his recent form, and Petra Kvitova has played her way back into the top bracket of title hopes in 2018.
The predictions are put together using Elo ratings, an alternative to more traditional rankings aimed at giving a greater insight into a player’s performance ability.
They factor in every professional match a player has played in their career, taking into account the level of the opponent, the difficulty of the match and whether it took place at tour level or at a Grand Slam.
When adjusted for specific surfaces, they still take into account all of a player’s matches but weigh those on the chosen surface more heavily.
Madrid Open Men’s Championship Prediction (pre-tournament)
|1. Rafael Nadal||44.3%|
|2. Novak Djokovic||13.0%|
|3. Juan Martin del Potro||8.6%|
|4. Alexander Zverev||6.9%|
|5. Dominic Thiem||5.5%|
|6. David Goffin||3.8%|
|7. Milos Raonic||2.7%|
|8. Grigor Dimitrov||2.4%|
|9. Stefanos Tsitsipas||1.7%|
|10. John Isner||1.5%|
Madrid Open Women’s Championship Prediction (pre-tournament)
|1. Simona Halep||12.6%|
|2. Elina Svitolina||12.3%|
|3. Maria Sharapova||9.0%|
|4. Caroline Wozniacki||7.7%|
|5. Karolina Pliskova||7.5%|
|6. Daria Kasatkina||6.9%|
|7. Petra Kvitova||5.5%|
|8. Venus Williams||5.1%|
|9. Naomi Osaka||4.9%|
|10. Garbine Muguruza||4.2%|
2 January 2019
What makes a player the player they are? This is the question at the heart of a new set of... More
23 February 2016
Tennis is a funny old game. People love you one minute and then want to drop you the next;... More
22 February 2016
How well do you know your lobs from your lets? Take this test to see if you can be the nex... More