Nadal Goes for 5 in a Row at ATP Barcelona; No Americans in Sight

Posted on April 19, 2009

Rafael Nadal gets right back up on that claycourt horse this week, straight off the Masters Monte Carlo title, as the top seed in his homecountry at the Barcelona Open 2009.

Nadal is joined among the Top 8 seeds by Fernando Verdasco and Nikolay Davydenko, rounding out the Top 10 participation, and David Ferrer, Fernando Gonzalez, Tommy Robredo, David Nalbandian and Stan Wawrinka.

The U.S. men's absence on the red clay continues, with no Americans among the participants for the second straight week on tour.

Seeded No. 9-16 are Radek Stepanek, Nicolas Almagro, Marat Safin, Igor Andreev, Richard Gasquet, Robin Soderling, Tomas Berdych and Feliciano Lopez.

The Top 8 seeds receive byes, with early-round match-ups including (7) Nalbandian vs. former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero (2nd rd.), (3) Davydenko vs. Guillermo Canas (2nd rd.), (9) Stepanek vs. Guillermo "G-Lo" Garcia-Lopez, (6) Robredo vs. (WC) Gaston Gaudio, (11) Safin vs. Juan Monaco, and Paul-Henri Mathieu vs. (Q) Nicolas Lapentti, winner to play (2) Verdasco.

Nadal is attempting a fifth successive Barcelona Open title, and is 21-1 at the event. In Barcelona finals Nadal has beaten Ferrero (2005), Robredo (2006), Canas (2007) and Ferrer (2008).

In last year's final the top-seeded Nadal outlasted Ferrer 6-1, 4-6, 6-1.

"Always is really important for me start the clay season like this, no, for the confidence," said Nadal on winning Monte Carlo and taking to the courts in Barcelona. "But the most important thing is the title more than the confidence. Win another time here is more than a dream for me."