World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas says the Barcelona Open player lineup is strong despite the absence of Rafael Nadal. Nadal, a record 12-time Barcelona champion, was forced to skip the tournament because of a rib stress fracture.
Tsitsipas, 23, reached the Barcelona finals in 2018 and 2021, losing to Nadal on both occasions. “I feel good, I'm delighted to be at this tournament. I'm happy with my tennis and the big rivals there are here even if this Rafael Nadal is not present.
Just because he's not there doesn't mean it's not a great tournament. I have no pressure to win this year. I think there are players, myself included, who can win the tournament because we adapt well to this surface.
I don't think the move from Monaco to Barcelona will affect me. I think going from fast courts to slow courts is much more difficult. This morning, I have already trained so that it affects me as little as possible," Tsitsipas said, per We Love Tennis.
David Ferrer happy to have Tsitsipas in Barcelona
With Nadal absent, Tsitsipas is the top seeded player in Barcelona this week. Ferrer, the Barcelona tournament director, hopes Tsitsipas will put on a strong week of tennis and give a great show to the Barcelona crowd.
"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. "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, who had a first round bye in Barcelona, plays Ilya Ivashka or Pedro Martinez in his opener at the tournament.