By Britwatch Team

  • Top Seeds: Rafael Nadal, Grigor Dimitrov, Dominic Thiem, David Goffin
  • Defending Champion: Rafael Nadal
  • British Interest: Jamie Murray (w/Bruno Soares) (Doubles)
  • CLICK our featured players for stats from TennisAbstract
BARCELONA, SPAIN – After a stuttering start to the year, Rafael Nadal has returned in full force on the clay as once more he aims for an unprecedented 11th win.

 

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Draw & Results

Tournament Website
Order of Play
Singles
Doubles
Qualifying

 

ATP Barcelona €2,794,220 R2 25-Apr
G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 63 RET K Nishikori [14] (JPN)
G Dimitrov [2] (BUL) 62 61 G Simon (FRA)
D Thiem [3] (AUT) 76(8) 61 J Munar [WC] (ESP)
M Klizan [Q] (SVK) 62 16 63 N Djokovic [WC/6] (SRB)
J Kovalik [LL] (SVK) 63 63 G Pella (ARG)
A Ramos-Vinolas [10] (ESP) 36 63 64 R Dutra Silva [Q] (BRA)
R Nadal [1] (ESP) 64 64 R Carballes Baena (ESP)
S Tsitsipas (GRE) 62 61 D Schwartzman [7] (ARG)
P Carreno Busta [5] (ESP) 63 63 B Paire (FRA)
K Khachanov [16] (RUS) 64 63 L Mayer (ARG)
P Andujar [LL] (ESP) 64 63 B Fratangelo [Q] (USA)

 

ATP Barcelona €2,794,220 R2 24-Apr
D Goffin [4] (BEL) 46 76(2) 62 M Granollers [WC] (ESP)
F Lopez [12] (ESP) 64 26 64 D Lajovic (SRB)
M Jaziri (TUN) 64 63 E Escobedo [LL] (USA)
R Bautista Agut [8] (ESP) 67(4) 62 64 I Karlovic (CRO)
A Mannarino [11] (FRA) 64 76(5) P Cuevas (URU)
  R1  
R Carballes Baena (ESP) 62 64 A Hauder-Maurer [PR] (AUT)
M Klizan [Q] (SVK) 63 67(5) 64 F Delbonis (ARG)
G Pella (ARG) 64 64 P Gojowczyk (BER)
B Fratangelo [Q] (USA) 75 57 63 A Vatutin [LL] (RUS)
G Simon (FRA) 62 63 I Ivashka [Q] (BLR)
J Munar [WC] (ESP) 64 36 75 J Sousa (POR)

 

ATP Barcelona €2,794,220 R1 23-Apr
B Paire (FRA) 76(4) 67(3) 64 N Jarry (CHI)
M Jaziri (TUN) 64 64 T Sandgren (USA)
D Lajovic (SRB) 64 67(5) 63 P Martinez [WC] (ESP)
M Granollers [WC] (ESP) 62 62 M Kukushkin (KAZ)
R Dutra Silva [Q] (BRA) 63 61 J Donaldson (USA)
G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 76(5) 76(5) Y Sugita (JPN)
S Tsitsipas (GRE) 64 61 C Moutet [Q] (FRA)
I Karlovic (CRO) 67(5) 76(8) 64 T Robredo [WC] (ESP)
P Cuevas (URU) 60 64 R Ojeda Lara [Q] (ESP)
L Mayer (ARG) 63 60 M Zverev (GER)

 

[1] Rafael Nadal

After a superior performance not just in the Davis Cup for Spain on the clay, but at Monte Carlo claiming [result], Nadal looks to repeat his title winning form now in Barcelona. As always he played down his comeback pointing out that he had not completed a tournament since Shanghai last October, but he certainly looks to be making up for lost time now!

 

Path to final (on rankings)

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Roberto Carballes Baena
  • R3: Kei Nishikori [14]
  • QF: Novak Djokovic [6/WC]
  • SF: Roberto Bautista Agut [8]
  • F: Grigor Dimitrov [2]

Assuming he is able to coast past his compatriot, there is a mouth-watering repeat clash of the Monte Carlo final with him scheduled to face Kei Nishikori again, as early as the third round. But even better than that is the clash many wanted to see in Monte Carlo. At the time it felt that the three-set grind for Novak Djokovic came a little too soon for his comeback, so will the extra week make a difference for the Serbian?

Given Nadal’s expected dominance on this surface, it still feels a little too soon, but it will be a great yardstick by which to measure how Djokovic might perform when it comes to the French Open. Although Nadal has only met his fellow countryman Roberto Bautista Agut twice in the past, he has eased past him twice on the clay. If he should face Grigor Dimitrov once more in the final, the Bulgarian might be less of pushover this time, but needs to find some consistency.

 

[2] Grigor Dimitrov

Grigor Dimitrov (Nitto ATP World Tour Finals, London 2017)

Photo by Ella Ling/BPI/REX/Shutterstock | Grigor Dimitrov (Nitto ATP World Tour Finals, London 2017)

It was a strange week for Dimitrov in Monte Carlo. He made it to the semi-final playing, at times, fairly scrappy tennis as he was looking for some form, and for a brief time in his semi-final against Nadal it looked like he was going to be able to make some sort of challenge, before falling away quite markedly in the second set.

 

Path to final (on rankings)

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Philipp Kohlschreiber
  • R3: Andrey Rublev [13]
  • QF: Pablo Carreno Busta [5]
  • SF: Diego Schwartzman [7]
  • F: Rafael Nadal [1]

That Dimitrov managed to reach the semi-finals after a comparatively scrappy weak was some testament to his skills on the surface, and we know he is capable of better. This would be a good chance for another deep run and with winning head to heads over his opponents (albeit with just a single win between them), he ought to feel assured of a decent run here with a fairly good draw for him.

 

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 [3] Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem, Paris Masters 2017

Photo by Alfonso Jimenez/REX/Shutterstock | Dominic Thiem, Paris Masters 2017

Coming back from the injury that saw him kept out of the US spring hard court fling, we saw some great tennis on a surface that Thiem will expect much from. However, he too fell apart when it came to facing Nadal on his home surface – after an epic battle with Djokovic, it looked as though Thiem was just too spent.

 

Path to final (on rankings)

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Joao Sousa/Jaume Munar [WC]
  • R3: Fernando Verdasco [15]
  • QF: Diego Schwartzman [7]
  • SF: Grigor Dimitrov [2]
  • F: Rafael Nadal [1]

His troubles though could start early where he has to try and snap a losing streak against Fernando Verdasco. He has never won against the Spaniard in three attempts and lost to him in Rio this year on clay.

It is a slightly more promising look against Diego Schwartzman who has been enjoying a rich vein of form recently before a more even edge against Dimitrov. Should he make the final, he might want to rapidly undue the memory of his drubbing at the hands of Nadal in Monte Carlo.

 

[4] David Goffin

David Goffin at the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals, London

Photo by WILL OLIVER/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock | David Goffin at the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals, London

After finishing the year as the runner up in the ATP Nitto World Tour Finals, it was a frustrating halt to proceedings in Rotterdam after a freak ball-strike in the eye off his own racquet kept Goffin out of the game while it healed, only mustering up a first round defeat in Miami and skipping Indian Wells altogether.

 

Path to final (on rankings)

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Mikhail Kukushkin
  • R3: Karen Khachanov [16]
  • QF: Roberto Bautista Agut [8]]
  • SF: Rafael Nadal [1]
  • F: Grigor Dimitrov [2]

We should expect him to certainly be able to handle the firepower of Karen Khachanov with his variety on the clay but might find it a bit more challenging against Agut, as they are quite evenly matched in their head to heads. Trailing Nadal in their clay court meetings so far, it is a tough ask to see Goffin advance to a repeat of the World Tour Finals.

The Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell takes place between 23-29 April (BST +1 hour).

 

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