The Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell held this Saturday the draw for the main draw, which will be held from April 19 to 25, and the hopefuls for the cup already know their way. One of the most emblematic events on the clay court calendar, the Catalan ATP 500 presents a list of truly exceptional players.
The 11-time champion Rafael Nadal will try to recover the trophy for the first time since 2018. The Spaniard will begin his participation against the Frenchman Adrian Mannarino or a rival from the previous phase. His path could be hardened in the round of 16 where the figures of the Japanese Kei Nishikori, two-time champion of the tournament, and the Chilean Cristian Garín, with five ATP Tour clay titles behind him, appear.
After reaching the quarterfinals of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, Nadal will seek to fine-tune his game at the Barcelona event. On the way to a hypothetical quarter-final, profiles such as puncher Karen Khachanov or Belgian David Goffin could emerge.
Rafael Nadal was bundled out of the Monte Carlo Masters on Friday by Andrey Rublev in a hard-fought three-setter. The loss ended Nadal's bid for a record-extending 12th title at the Masters 1000 event.
Rafael Nadal reflects on his loss in Montecarlo
"When you face a great player like him and you don’t play well, you should lose, no?" Rafael Nadal said.
"For some reason, I had problems with my serve. I don't know understand why because I was not having problems with the practices at all. But today was one of these days that my serve was a disaster." The World No.
3 struggled to get out of tough situations on his own serve, which he claimed put more pressure on him from the baseline. "Serving like this, the serve creates an impact on the rest of the game," Nadal said. "When you serve with no confidence, you are just focusing on try to serve, not think about how you want to play the ball."
Andrey Rublev ended up taking that set 6-2, leaving the Spaniard with a lot of regrets. "You just think about what you have to do with the serve to put the ball in," Nadal said. "Then you have problems continue and prepare the point the right way, no? He played well, he deserves more than me," the 34-year-old added.
"I fought, yeah. That’s the positive thing, I was there. But you can’t expect a win against a player like him losing my serve, I don’t know how many times, but too many. No chance like this. Six, seven times? It’s too much.
I had reasons to complain, but I didn't," Nadal said. "I only shouted after missing a backhand, I was tired of making unforced errors. It was a day to forget. Playing bad and doing it against a top player is a killer cocktail."