ATP Barcelona Open Day 3 Predictions Including Ilya Ivashka vs Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal triumphant at the French Open

Day 3 of the ATP Barcelona Open sees 11-time champion Rafael Nadal begin his campaign. After a shock defeat at the hands of Andrey Rublev in Monte Carlo, the Spaniard will come in to Barcelona determined to get back to his usual winning ways on clay. In this article I predict four of the matches on Wednesday, with predictions for the other Day 3 matches split across two different articles. One features Juame Munar vs Stefanos Tsitsipas and the other headlines Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Lorenzo Musetti.

ATP Barcelona Open Day 3 Predictions

Federico Gaio vs Andrey Rublev

Head to Head: First Meeting

The Italian took full advantage of being the lucky loser to get into the main draw, recording a straight sets opening round win against Benoit Paire. Despite the Frenchman’s much-noted dissatisfaction with the the lack of crowds and the tournament bubble lifestyle, this was still an impressive win for the Italian, who has mainly spent his 2021 season playing on the ATP Challenger Tour, with his best result being a run to the semifinals of the first Biella Challenger, and attempting to qualify for main Tour events.

Andrey Rublev produced a disappointing performance in the Monte Carlo Masters final on Sunday. The Russian struggled on his own serve, and his return proved to be ineffective against Stefanos Tsitsipas. However, at the ATP 500 level, the Russian is a formidable force. He won in Vienna and Hamburg last year, as well as Rotterdam earlier this year. The Russian’s firepower on his serve and groundstrokes allow him to dictate the majority of the points on this surface, but the win over Nadal last week also showcased his defensive skills. I think Rublev will be eager to put Sunday’s performance behind him, and I think he will record a straight sets win.
Prediction: Rublev in 2

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Dan Evans vs Corentin Moutet

Head to Head: 1-0 Moutet

Dan Evans took the tennis world by storm last week in Monte Carlo by reaching the semifinals of the singles event, recording victories over Dusan Lajovic, Hubert Hurkacz, World #1 Novak Djokovic, and David Goffin before losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Brit also reached his second doubles Masters 1,000 in a row with Neal Skupski, narrowly losing to number 1 seeds Mektic and Pavic in a champions tiebreak. Evans’s variety and heavy use of slice and serve and volley proved to be highly successful with Djokovic struggling with the lack of pace and the low slices from the Brit.

Corentin Moutet has history with Evans, with the pair locking horns during the Frenchman’s four set victory over the Brit at last years US Open. Moutet can be a temperamental player, but he was at his best with a comprehensive victory over Dominik Koepfer in the opening round. Moutet failed to qualify for Monte Carlo last week, and has not played in the main draw of an ATP event since his second loss at the Australian Open. I think Moutet has the game to make life difficult for Evans, but i think the Brit’s variety and confidence will contribute to him getting the win.
Prediction: Evans in 3

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Fabio Fognini vs Bernabe Zapata Miralles

Head to Head: First Meeting

Fabio Fognini is the definition of unpredictable. The Italian’s clay court season began in Marbella with a defeat to Juame Munar in his first match, only winning three games. However, Monte Carlo saw a change in fortunes, with Fognini not dropping a set in a run to the quarterfinals. However, against Casper Ruud, Fognini disappointed, failing to produce his best level of tennis in a straight sets defeat. Despite his up-and-down form, the Italian is always a threat.

Bernabe Zapatta Miralles enjoyed the best win of his career this season, beating John Millman in the opening round of Dubai and in his first round match this week, he saw off former top 50 player Andrey Kuznetsov. The Spaniard has mainly played in qualifying four tour level events and is inexperienced at this level. I think the Italian has more experience and weapons in his game, and will get the win in straight sets.
Prediction: Fognini in 2

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Ilya Ivashka vs Rafael Nadal

Head to Head: First Meeting

Rafael Nadal was seemingly cruising through the draw last week in Monte Carlo, only dropping a total of five games in his opening two matches against Federico Delbonis and Grigor Dimitrov. However the Spaniard’s first serve deserted him against Andrey Rublev, and Nadal could never find his best level, producing a flurry of unforced errors and seven double faults, one away from equaling his career high for a match. We have seen Nadal lose in best-of-three set matches on clay more often in recent years. However, it has not affected his dominance in Roland Garros.

Illya Ivashka undoubtedly faces an uphill task. However there have been some positive signs for the Belarusian. Earlier this month, Ivashka reached the quarterfinals of the Andalucia Open, a run that included a comprehensive straight set victory over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. He looked impressive in his opening round win over Tallon Griekspoor, only dropping four games. However, it is difficult to see how he can hurt Nadal. I’m predicting a straight sets win for the Spaniard.
Prediction: Nadal in 2

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