Barcelona TD: Thrilled to have Stefanos Tsitsipas, who met Rafael Nadal in 2021 final


Barcelona TD: Thrilled to have Stefanos Tsitsipas, who met Rafael Nadal in 2021 final

Barcelona Open tournament director David Ferrer is disappointed because Rafael Nadal won't be playing at the tournament this week but he is thrilled to have the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud. Tsitsipas, 23, has become a regular guest at the Barcelona Open as he is making his fourth consecutive appearance at the tournament.

Tsitsipas reached Barcelona finals in 2018 and 2021, losing to Rafael Nadal on both occasions. Nadal, a record 12-time Barcelona champion, is skipping this year's event as he is still recovering from a stress fracture in one of his ribs.

"I am very happy to have players like Tsitsipas who made the final with Rafa last year and was about to win Roland Garros, he is a very charismatic player," Ferrer told La Vanguardia, per Sportskeeda. "Then we have new top 10 like Casper Ruud, who played the Masters last year and is very good on clay.

From there I want to name Roberto Bautista, Pablo Carreño and of course Carlos Alcaraz, this year's revelation, a young player with a great future and who will be a benchmark for Spanish tennis after Rafa."

Tsitsipas aims back-to-back titles

Tsitsipas kicked off his clay season in style, winning the Monte Carlo title last week.

Tsitsipas, a two-time Barcelona finalist, is the top-seeded player at the tournament this week and he is certainly motivated to finally win his first title at the tournament. World No. 5 Tsitsipas needs more strong results as he aims to reach the world No.

1 this year. “I have a surface that I might be adjusting easier to than other surfaces and we know which one that is,” Tsitsipas said of his recent performance on clay. “My goal ever since I have realised that… is if I'm able to score points [on] this surface as much as I can and really concentrate on the other surfaces a bit more, I can really pull off a great year, maybe even finishing among the two best tennis players at the end of the season”.

Stefanos Tsitsipas Rafael Nadal