APRIL 21 - MAY 4, 2025

A tournament of No. 1s

Throughout its history, it is as if the men’s event at the Mutua Madrid Open has had its own unwritten rule that came into force over twenty years ago: only the very best may lay claim to the trophy. 85% of the editions (17 out of 20) played, have been won by a player who has been the world number one, from Andre Agassi’s inaugural win in 2002 to Carlos Alcaraz’s stunning victory last year.

The Spanish capital has witnessed victories for all members of the Big 4 (Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray), as well as Juan Carlos Ferrero and Marat Safin.

Only two players have managed to etch their names on the trophy without having reached the peak of world tennis. First, David Nalbandian won in 2007, albeit taking down 3 would-be world No. 1s en route to the title, while Alexander Zverev was champion in 2018 and 2021. The Argentine reached No. 3 in the world, while the German’s highest ranking is currently No. 2, his name, though, may yet join those of the rest.

The American was one of the biggest attractions in the draw in the first edition of the Mutua Madrid Open, on the hard courts of Casa de Campo. Agassi had already been world number one for 87 weeks, although he arrived at the event in the No. 2 spot. After a bye through the first round, he worked his way past Jan-Michael Gambill (R32), Feliciano López (R16), Juan Carlos Ferrero (QF) and Sebastien Grosjean (SF) en route to the final. In the decider he did not have to set foot on court because his opponent Jiri Novak withdrew injured. The news meant Agassi became the first champion in the tournament’s history.

Appearances: 2
Champion: 2002
Wins-losses: 7-1
Weeks at No. 1: 101

The Mutua Madrid Open did not have to wait long to crown a home champion. It happened in the second year, 2003, the season that Juan Carlos Ferrero became world No. 1 in September, having reached the US Open final. A few months earlier, he had won the French Open and triumphed at the Monte Carlo Masters. In October, as the top seed in Madrid, he romped to the title as he saw off Wayne Ferreira (R32), Felix Mantilla (R16), Paradorn Srichaphan (QF), Roger Federer (SF) and Nicolás Massú (F).

Appearances: 9
Champion: 2003
Wins-losses: 10-8
Weeks at No. 1: 8

As the tournament matured, the trend continued to grow. It seemed like if you wanted to be a champion of the Mutua Madrid Open you simply had to be a world No. 1, or at least have occupied the spot recently. Such was the case of Marat Safin, who spent 9 weeks at the peak of the rankings before claiming the throne in the Spanish capital in 2004. The third seed enjoyed a flawless week, in which he defeated Feliciano López (R32), Stefan Koubek (R16), Luis Horna (QF), Andre Agassi (SF) and David Nalbandian (F). His sister, Dinara Safina, would also be crowned champion of the event in 2009. 

Appearances: 6
Champion: 2004
Wins-losses: 8-5 
Weeks at No. 1: 9

His name is synonymous with the Mutua Madrid Open. The Balearic Islander has won the tournament more times than anyone else, but his first title in 2005 was perhaps the most special of them all, both because of its significance in his career and the manner in which he achieved it. It is still the only trophy he has won on indoor hard court, and he did so by coming back from two sets behind in the final against Ivan Ljubicic. At the time, he was still yet to reach world No. 1. When he did, the event moved to the clay of the Caja Mágica, which is when his dominance of the tournament took hold. He also claimed the title in 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2017, on top of the finals he reached in 2009, 2011 and 2015.

Appearances: 19
Champion: 2005, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2017
Wins-losses: 56-14
Weeks at No. 1: 209

Madrid held a special place in the heart of the Swiss maestro, which the city reciprocated. He has the honour of being the only man to win on all three surfaces the tournament has been played on. Always present in the later rounds, his first title came in 2006 on hard court, without dropping a set, and beating Fernando González in the final. In 2009, the inaugural edition on clay, he beat then world No. 1 Nadal in the decider, while in 2012 he was victorious on the blue clay. As well as his titles, he reached two further finals in 2007 (lost to Nalbandian) and 2010 (lost to Nadal).

Appearances: 12
Champion: 2006, 2009, 2012
Wins-losses: 37-9
Weeks at No. 1: 310

The Briton took it upon himself to see out the Mutua Madrid Open’s tenure at its old venue in the Rockodrome of Casa de Campo in 2008. On hard court, while he was still yet to reach the peak of the rankings, Andy Murray claimed a famous victory over Federer in the semis and defeated Gilles Simon in the final. He would have to wait seven years to taste triumph again in Madrid. In doing so, he removed a thorn that had been in his side throughout his career. By 2015 he had never won a title on clay, but that season he ended the drought with trophies in Munich and Madrid.

Appearances: 12
Champion: 2008, 2015
Wins-losses: 29-9
Weeks at No. 1: 41

The early days of the Mutua Madrid Open on hard court were unremarkable for the Serb. A semi-final in 2007, where he lost to the eventual champion Nalbandian, was his standout result. Along with the change of surface, the move to the Caja Mágica, and his assault on the world No. 1 spot, came the best of Djokovic in Madrid. His first title arrived in 2011, when he had strung together 41 wins from the start of the season. In 2016 he claimed the spoils again before completing the Grand Slam a few weeks later at Roland Garros. In 2019 he completed his treble. He has never lost a final in the Manolo Santana Stadium.

Appearances: 12
Champion: 2011, 2016, 2019
Wins-losses: 30-9
Weeks at No. 1: 380

The Caja Mágica will always be a special venue for Carlos Alcaraz. He made his debut in the Manolo Santana Stadium in 2021 thanks to a wildcard at 17 years of age, and he stunned everyone by picking up his first ATP Masters 1000 win against Adrian Mannarino. Two days later, on his birthday, he faced Rafael Nadal before saying goodbye with a smile on his face despite the defeat. Just one season later, he was back as a member of the Top 10 to notch up consecutive wins against three previous winners of the event in Nadal (QF), Djokovic (SF) and Alexander Zverev (F). He became the third Spaniard to win the Mutua Madrid Open.

Appearances: 2
Champion: 2022
Wins-losses: 6-1
Weeks at No. 1: 20