By Britwatch Team

  • Top Seeds: Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Kei Nishikori
  • Defending Champion: Rafael Nadal
  • British Interest: Cameron Norrie Jamie Murray (w/Bruno Soares) (Doubles)
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BARCELONA, SPAIN – Rafael Nadal returns to try for a record 12th title but after his stutter in Monte Carlo, is he more of a target for the field?

 

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Tournament Fast Facts

Level ATP 500
Surface Clay (O)
Singles Draw 64
Doubles Draw 32
Prize Money €2,746,455
Tournament Website Facebook
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Top seeds [1] Rafael Nadal

[2] Alexander Zverev

[3] Dominic Thiem

[4] Kei Nishikori

[5] Stefanos Tsitsipas

[6] Karen Khachanov

[7] Daniil Medvedev

[8] Fabio Fognini

Top Half [1] Rafael Nadal

[5] Stefanos Tsitsipas

[3] Dominic Thiem

[6] Karen Khachanov

Bottom Half [8] Fabio Fognini

[4] Kei Nishikori

[7] Daniil Medvedev

[2] Alexander Zverev

 

Draw & Results

Tournament Website
Order of Play
Singles
Doubles
Qualifying

 

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[1] Rafael Nadal

Prior to last week, everyone felt that his extended leave after withdrawing from Indian Wells and skipping Miami that Nadal would pull his usual return to grace, but his defeat in the Monte Carlo semi-final would have sent pre-Roland Garros ripples around the circuit, had it not been for a similar demise from Novak Djokovic.

Path to final (Seedings/rankings)

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Leonardo Mayer
  • R3: Lucas Pouille [15]
  • QF: Stefanos Tsitsipas [5]
  • SF: Dominic Thiem [3]
  • F: Alexander Zverev [2]

Again, on paper the draw looks favourable, and while he avoids the ‘joker’ in Fabio Fognini, who downed him in Monte Carlo, he is set to face the two heirs apparent to the King of Clay throne as the expectation on either of them to make a Slam favoured mark on the scene grows ever restless.

 

[2] Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev in the first round-robin at the ATP World Tour Finals 2018, London

Alexander Zverev in the first round-robin at the ATP World Tour Finals 2018, London | (Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)

If Nadal had a little stumble, Zverev had a full-on face-plant at the start of the clay court season, also falling foul to Fognini. The pressure is intensifying in particular on Zverev to come good, especially at the Slams as he has already entered the Masters’ chamber.

Path to final (Seedings/rankings)

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Marcel Granollers [Q]
  • R3: Grigor Dimitrov [13]
  • QF: Daniil Medvedev [7]
  • SF: Kei Nishikori [4]
  • F: Rafael Nadal [1]

After reaching the Acapulco final, it has been a pretty miserable time for Zverev who has yet to get any back to back wins since the start of the Sunshine Double.

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 [3] Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open, ATP Indian Wells 2019

Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open, ATP Indian Wells 2019 | (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

The other Prince of clay has also failed to impress since the start of the clay court season. After a disappointing opening loss in Miami, he lost to the eventual Monte Carlo runner-up Dusan Lajovic and will be wanting to do much better in Barcelona where he is defending quarter-final points.

Path to final (Seedings/rankings)

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Diego Schwartzman [Q]
  • R3: Frances Tiafoe [14]
  • QF: Karen Khachanov [8]
  • SF: Rafael Nadal [1]
  • F: Alexander Zverev [2]

 

 [4] Kei Nishikori

Two-time champion Nishikori is also firmly on the ‘lot to prove’ list.  Since reaching the Rotterdam semi-final and a promising start to the year winning the Brisbane title and reaching the Australian Open quarter-final, he has tailed off pretty dramatically and has yet to pick up a back to back win since February.

Path to final (Seedings/rankings)

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Taylor Fritz
  • R3: Felix Auger-Aliassime [16]
  • QF: Fabio Fognini [8]
  • SF: Alexander Zverev [2]
  • F: Rafael Nadal [1]
The Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell take place between 22-28 April (BST -1 hour).

 

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