The major lead up events to the Rafa beatdown that is Roland Garros are over and the tour heads to two small 250 events as final prep while most of the big names take the week to rest up.
This week is the second leg of Europe’s version of the Sunshine Double. Much like Indian Wells and Miami in the United States, Madrid and Rome are two Masters Series 1000 events held in back to back weeks.
It’s the Rafa Show, back for week five of the clay season. Madrid is the second Masters Series event of the clay season.
Being in Europe though, albeit across two different times zones, it means North American tennis fans get to enjoy daytime tennis all week and there really is nothing better than breakfast with tennis, followed by lunch with tennis.
The European clay swing is well underway now as the tour moves on from Monte Carlo to Barcelona and Budapest.
Monte Carlo is not a mandatory event but, it does bring out many of the top players on tour due to a nice purse and one of the most scenic locales available.
Clay season officially arrives (no offense to the Golden Swing) this week in North Africa and Texas.
The Sunshine Double concludes this week in Miami as the ATP tour trades one warm climate for another, moving from California to Florida.
The hard court spring season wraps up with the American Sunshine Double before the tour moves to clay in April. And the first leg of the Sunshine Double is Indian Wells.
This is the final week of the split schedule ATP tour. The European in-door spring run wraps up, ironically enough, outdoors in Dubai, while the Golden Swing winds down in Sao Paulo. The North American hard court, meanwhile, is not really winding down but, instead winding up — Acapulco is a nice west coast warm up for next week’s first Masters Series event in Indian Wells.