Despite the prohibitive run that Rafael Nadal has put down on the clay over the past few years, the recent performances of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have given reason for a glimmer of hope. If nothing else we can always look to the Law of Averages - everyone must lose sometime even when you are Nadal and playing on the red clay. To better gauge the field's chances of upsetting Nadal, what follows, is a quarter by quarter dissection of the draw and an analysis of each section along with my predictions for these.
Nadal could not have wished for an easier passage to the quarters. A couple of minor hurdles in Ferrer or Soderling are all that really stand in his way. Fernando Verdasco should be waiting for him in the last eight provided he gets through a potential showdown with Davydenko in the 4th round. Experienced hand Lleyton Hewitt faces a tough task as he plays Ivo Karlovic first up.