For the first time in 17 years at an ATP event, all four semifinalists at the ATP Marbella Open are from the same country. The last time this happened was, believe it or not, also in Spain with four Spanish players reaching the last four. One of the players in the semifinals is a 17-year-old whose coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero, was amongst the last foursome. But which two Spaniards will find themselves in Sunday’s final?
ATP Marbella Open Semifinal Predictions
Pablo Carreno Busta vs Albert Ramos Vinolas
Head-to-head: Carreno Busta 3-1 Ramos Vinolas
Pablo Carreno Busta, the top seed at the ATP Marbella Open, and Albert Ramos Vinolas, the fourth seed, meet here for the fifth time in their careers. Carreno Busta, the younger of the two Spaniards, has eased his way into the last four, beating Mario Vilella Martinez and Kwon Soonwoo without dropping a set. Ramos Vinolas, in contrast, has struggled, losing a set against both Ricardas Berankis and Norbert Gombos.
Those are players that Ramos Vinolas would surely expect to be beating routinely if he was playing his best tennis. He did reach the semifinals last time he played on clay, but Ramos Vinolas lost at that stage and it is hard to see a different outcome this time around. At this stage in their respective careers, Carreno Busta is simply a much better player than his compatriot. He is more consistent, less likely to suffer a dip and should come out on top.
Prediction: Carreno Busta in 2
Embed from Getty Images
Carlos Alcaraz vs Jaume Munar
Head-to-head: first meeting
Where to start with the 17-year-old Carlos Alcaraz? For all the potential he has to become a great player in the future, it was still a surprise to see him beat Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals, let alone rout him for the loss of only a handful of games. And on paper, he faces an easier task in the semifinals when he takes on his countryman Jaume Munar. In fact, it is a match that many will now be expecting him to win.
But Munar should not be underestimated. He too has played well this week, beating Henri Laaksonen, Fabio Fognini and Ilya Ivashka to reach this stage. He has also been playing very well at Challenger-level, last week reaching the final at the event held in Marbella. Still, Alcaraz has the firepower to hit through Munar and into the semifinals, provided that the occasion does not get the better of the teenager that is.
Prediction: Alcaraz in 3
Embed from Getty Images