The 2021 ATP Barcelona Open opens with Day 1 on Monday and features an entry list dripping with quality, with top seed Rafael Nadal looking to bounce back from his shock quarterfinal defeat to Andrey Rublev. We also predict the rest of the Day 1 matches between two other articles. One features Bernabe Zapata Miralles vs Andrey Kuznetsov and the other features Kei Nishikori vs Guido Pella.
2021 ATP Barcelona Open Day 1 Predictions
Pablo Andujar vs Gilles Simon
Head to Head: 3-2 Andujar
Gilles Simon endured a difficult start to the season, losing in the opening round of the Australian Open to Stefanos Tsitsipas in a match he admitted was one of the worst of his career. The Frenchman’s struggles continued in Montpellier, where he was beaten by Dennis Novak in the opening round. However last week in Sardinia, he was able to win his first match since January against Stefano Travagila, but he then lost to Lorenzo Sonego in his next match.
After an opening round defeat at the Australian Open, Pablo Andujar started his clay court season well, by reaching the quarterfinals of the Argentina Open. However, since then, the Spaniard has lost in the opening round of the two other clay court events at the Chile Open and the Monte Carlo Masters. Andujar’s three wins over the Frenchman came on clay, and I think he will get the win.
Prediction: Andujar in 2
Pierre-Hugues Herbert vs Sumit Nagal
Head to Head: First Meeting
The highlight of Pierre-Hugues Herbert’s season undoubtedly came in Marseille where the Frenchman beat the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Ugo Humbert and Kei Nishikori in a run to the final where he lost in three sets to Medvedev. Since then, Herbert has managed to pick up a victory over Pedro Sousa in Miami, however on the clay, he failed to qualify for the Monte Carlo Masters, losing in the opening round of qualifying to Bernard Tomic, so he is lacking clay court singles matches this season.
Sumit Nagal has played a mixture of ATP Challenger Tour and ATP Tour matches this season and he successfully came through qualifying to get into the main draw. Nagal’s best result at tour level came on clay at the Argentina Open, where he had a notable straight sets win over Christian Garin, before losing in the quarterfinals to Albert Ramos Vinolas. I think this will go to three sets, but i think Herbert’s ability to come to the net could prove to be a deciding factor and I think he will get the win in three sets.
Prediction: Herbert in 3
Egor Gerasimov vs Jo-Wilfred Tsonga
Head to Head: First Meeting
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga has struggled in his return from injury. This season, the Frenchman made his return to the ATP Tour in Montpellier, where he was beaten by Sebastian Korda. Since then has only played in two other events, recording a win over Feliciano Lopez in Marseille before losing to fellow Frenchman Ugo Humbert, and in Dubai where he retired midway through the first set in his opening round match with Malek Jaziri. It is difficult to tell where the Frenchman’s game is at the moment. However, he will always be a threat on the clay, having reached the semifinals of Roland Garros twice–in 2013 and 2015.
The highlight of Egor Gerasimov’s season so far undoubtedly came in Montpellier, where the Belorussian beat Andy Murray, Ajaz Bedene, and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in a run to the semifinals. However, since then Gerasimov has only won two matches on the tour. This match is difficult to predict as Tsonga has not played a clay court match this season. I think this will go to three sets, and Gerasimov gets the win.
Prediction: Gerasimov in 3
Main Photo from Getty.