Rafael Nadal’s clay campaign continues Wednesday in his homeland of Spain. Nadal opens his bid for a seventh Barcelona title against countryman Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the second round.
Following his Monte Carlo title, Rafa has won his last 16 matches on his favorite clay surface and 29 in a row at Barcelona where has won the last six times he’s entered.
G-Lo has a win over Nadal at 2010 Bangkok, and he pulled a similar shocker earlier this year beating Andy Murray at Indian Wells.
Murray was in action earlier today in Barcelona and the Scot cruised past Sergei Stakhovsky 6-3, 6-2.
“I hit the ball very well. Physically I felt in great shape, although I was a little tired mentally,” Murray said who reached the quarterfinals last week in Monte Carlo. “Stakhovsky is a different rival who varies his shots a lot. I served well and won many points on the first serve, which is something I have been working on lately.”
Other second round winners included Spaniards Nicolas Almagro and 2010 champion Fernando Verdasco.
In first round play, Bernard Tomic beat Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 6-4 in another notable result.
“I think I played well on my service games,” Tomic said. “I am starting to move better on the clay and it is the best I’ve played so far. Hopefully in the next round I’ll be ready to run and be physical with him. I think I’ll need to play a little more aggressively and be patient at times.”
Tomorrow Tomic meets Albert Montanes. Another youngster 20-year-old Filip Krajinovic returns from shoulder surgery to face 3-time Barcelona finalist David Ferrer.
The Top 8 women in the world are in Stuttgart this week. On Wednesday Maria Sharapova, Aga Radwanska and Ana Ivanovic are in action along with Caroline Wozniacki who meets Jelena Jankovic.
PISTA CENTRAL start 11:00 am
 B Tomic (AUS) vs A Montanes (ESP)
Not Before 1:30 PM
[WC] F Krajinovic (SRB) vs  D Ferrer (ESP)
 R Nadal (ESP) vs G Garcia-Lopez (ESP)
 F Lopez (ESP) vs F Cipolla (ITA)
V Hanescu (ROU) vs  J Tipsarevic (SRB)
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