Nadal Tries To Win A 12th Barcelona Title Against Tough Field With 9 Of Top 20
After suffering a shock loss Saturday in Monte Carlo, Rafael Nadal returns to Spain eyeing a 12th title in Barcelona.
Nadal has won his last 15 matches at the event, and overall he’s 58-3. But this year’s field is loaded, and his path is a tough.
Rafa is joined by Masters champions Dominic Thiem, Karen Khachanov and Alexander Zverev, plus 2-time champ Kei Nishikori, 2018 runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev and of course Monte Carlo winner Fabio Fognini who just beat Nadal.
But the only Nadal-Fognini rematch would come in the final.
Nadal could open against Leonardo Mayer, then Lucas Pouille with Tsitsipas in the quarters and Dominic Thiem in the semifinals.
Also in the draw are Canadian youngsters Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime, Frances Tiafoe, Christian Garin, Reilly Opelka and Jaume Munar.
Spanish great David Ferrer will play his final Barcelona event. The 37-year-old wildcard entrant is set to retire in Madrid.
Young Spaniard Nicola Kuhn also received a wildcard as did Feliciano Lopez who faces countryman and 2010 champ Fernando Verdasco in the first round.
The projected 4th round: 1 Nadal-15 Pouille, 10 Goffin-5 Tsitsipas, 3 Thiem-14 Tiafoe, 12 Carreno Busta-6 Khachanov, 9 Fognini-9 Shapovalov, 16 Auger-Aliassime- 4 Nishikori, 7 Medvedev-11 Simon, 13 Dimitrov-2 Zverev.
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