On Thursday, Madrid remained true to form by spitting out a lot of results which don't commonly occur on the tour:
Kyle Edmund made a Masters quarterfinal.
Denis Shapovalov made a clay Masters quarterfinal.
Kevin Anderson made a clay Masters quarterfinal.
Dusan Lajovic made a Masters quarterfinal.
Karolina Pliskova convincingly defeated Simona Halep.
The reality of Maria Sharapova losing is not that surprising, but given her improving form and the fact that she won the first set on Thursday, her loss to Kiki Bertens might have caught some observers off guard.
The reality of Juan Martin del Potro losing on clay is hardly staggering... but losing after being up 4-0 in a third-set tiebreaker to a man who -- entering this tournament -- had not won a main-draw match at a clay-court Masters 1000 event, and is almost 28 years old?
That is certainly surprising.
I'm not going to tell you how much of an indicator Madrid is in this column. What I am going to do is share with you the quarterfinalists, WTA and ATP, at the last three Madrid Opens. You can see how neatly -- or erratically -- this tournament sets the stage for the French Open and/or the rest of a tennis season:
2017 WTA Quarterfinalists:
2017 ATP Quarterfinalists:
2016 WTA QF-ists:
Patricia Maria Tig
2016 ATP QF-ists:
2015 WTA QF-ists:
Carla Suarez Navarro
2015 ATP QF-ists: