Nadal in Barcelona, Sharapova in Stuttgart: Previews
by Staff | April 20th, 2014, 1:48 am

Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell
Barcelona, Spain; Surface: clay

Seeds: Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Fabio Fognini, Kei Nishikori, Tommy Robredo, Nicolas Almagro, Jerzy Janowicz, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Ernests Gulbis, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Fernando Verdasco, Marin Cilic, Feliciano Lopez, Marcel Granollers, Dmitry Tursunov, Benoit Paire
Floaters: Nikolay Davydenko, Radek “The Worm” Stepanek

Notes: Eight-time winner Rafael Nadal heads the field, and after a bye likely starts against Davydenko…(14) Marcel Granollers after a bye likely starts against The Worm…Wildcards went to Argentine Facundo Arguelleo, and Spaniards Roberto Carballes Baena, Inigo Cervantes, Daniel Gimeno-Traver…Withdrawing from the event were Pablo Andujar, Federico Delbonis, Richard Gasquet, Ivo Karlovic and Juan Monaco…David Ferrer is 0-4 in Barcelona finals…Fabio Fognini has never won a match in Barcelona (0-4)…Nadal beat Almagro in last year’s all-Spanish final…The two-time champ Bryan brothers are the top seeds in the doubles…Former singles champs in the field are Nadal (2013-11,’09-05), Robredo (2004), and Verdasco (2010).

BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy
Bucharest, Romania; Surface: clay

Seeds: Grigor Dimitrov, Mikail Youzhny, Gael Monfils, Gilles Simon, Vasek Pospisil, Andreas Seppi, Nicolas Mahut, Jarkko Nieminen

Floaters: Lukas Rosol, Victor Hanescu

Notes: Tough start for (8) Nieminen against Leo Mayer then likely the defending champ Rosol…(4) Simon after a bye will likely face the wily Hanescu…Wildcards went to Romanians Patrick Ciorcila and Marius Copil, and the top seed Dimitrov…Pulling from the event were Julien Benneteau, Guillermo Garc´┐Ża-Lopez, Florian Mayer, and Janko Tipsarevic (knee)…Former champs in the field are Rosol (2013) and Simon (2012,’08-07).

Porsche Tennis Grand Prix
Stuttgart, Germany; Surface: clay

Seeds: Agnieszka Radwanska, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber, Jelena Jankovic, Maria Sharapova, Dominika Cibulkova, Sara Errani

Floaters: Roberta Vinci, Lucie Safarova, Caroline Wozniacki, Kaia Kanepi, Ana Ivanovic, (WC) Andrea Petkovic, Flavia Pennetta, Sabine Lisicki, Svetlana Kuznetsova

Notes: It’s floaters and early match-ups galore in Stuttgart, including (1) Radwanska after a bye likely vs. Vinci, (6) Sharapova vs. Safarova, (5) Jankovic vs. Ivanovic in an all-Serb former No. 1 battle, (7) Cibulkova vs. Lisicki, and (2) Halep vs. Kuznetsova…Wildcards went to Germany’s Julia Goerges and Andrea Petkovic…Pulling from the event were Li Na (knee) and Kirsten Flipkens…Sharapova beat Na in last year’s final…Former champs in the field are Sharapova (2013-12), Goerges (2011), Kuznetsova (2009), and Jankovic (2008).

GP SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem
Marrakech, Morocco; Surface: clay

Seeds: Daniela Hantuchova, Elina Svitolina, Yvonne Meusburger, Bojana Jovanovski, Garbine Muguruza, Peng Shuai, Zhang Shuai, Francesca Schiavone

Floaters: none

Notes: No Top 25 players…Wildcards went to Morocco’s Rita Atik, the Slovak Hantuchova and Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur…Pulling from the event were Alison Riske, Laura Robson, Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova and Vera Zvonareva…Schiavone defeated Lourdes Dominguez Lino in last year’s final…Schiavone (2013) is the lone returning champ in the field.


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10 Comments for Nadal in Barcelona, Sharapova in Stuttgart: Previews

skeezer Says:

Rafa looking to defend cheap points, no top 4 in the draw. But some of these entries nowadays looks menacing, lol.
Vamooser baby. An easy Clay for Rafa. After all, its his fav season, no?

Hippy Chic Says:

Skeezer After what happened this week i wont be taking anything for granted,Rafa lost to David a couple of days ago,and to Dolgo in IW who are both playing Barcelona,so hes not invincible,but then again aint that why you go out and play the matches,so who knew?sigh….

Okiegal Says:

Yay, a thread with the “R” word in it. Rafa, shake the red dirt of Monte Carlo off your feet and move on to the next one.


There seems to be something amiss in Rafa’s game right now…..44 unforced errors on clay is very unusual for our guy. I think rushing through his serve because of the time violation crack down has got him on edge. He needs to speed up for sure…..
…two more towels may be the answer. LOL He still had tape on his back…..dont know what that means…but Barca is just about to get started and I’m ready……VAMOS RAFA”

Gordon Says:

One week from right now we will either be looking at Ferrer’s victory over Rafa in Barcelona as an anomaly and we will see that the King of Clay has not gone away, he was just off a bit in the quarters and a Ferrer was hitting on all cylinders.

The above is if/when Rafa next Sunday is smiling and chewing on the handle of the Barcelona trophy.

If he doesn’t win Barcelona?

I don’t even want to go there, mainly cause I can’t see it happening.

Giles Says:

Vamos Rafa!
Stay healthy!

Klaas Says:

Players will start to believe Rafa is beatable. He will get some tough matches. If he gets trough them, he is back on track. If not…

James Says:

I wasn’t that impressed with Rafa even against Seppi at Monte Carlo. If he is 100% fit like he says, he needs to practice practice practice. He can play much better than he has so far this year.

Like I said before MC, Rafa may be the best ever on clay but he can’t expect to win against the top players if he isn’t playing as well as he can.

C’mon Rafa! You can do it. You can beat ’em all.

rafaeli Says:

Rafa is not a machine he is allowed to lose sometimes. It’s not the first time he’s lost on clay and he’s been reigning on the stuff for 10 years.

Okiegal Says:

Rafa us acting out of sorts to me…….Hope he sorts things out and gets back to the form we all know he’s capable of.


You’re right, he has reigned on the clay for several years now. At the age he’s getting to be he will win some and lose some. Novak has an injury now and he will lose points. Things are changing all the time.

metan Says:

Show to people Rafa that you are a truly King of Clay.
You can do it champion.
Vamos, RAFA!

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