Day 3 at the ATP Barcelona Open sees Monte Carlo Champion Stefanos Tsitsipas begin his campaign, as well as an intriguing match between Cristian Garin and Kei Nishikori. We predict all of Wednesday’s matches. Three of them are in this article, and we have two more articles. One features Ilya Ivashka vs Rafael Nadal and the other headlines Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Lorenzo Musetti.
ATP Barcelona Open Day 3 Predictions
Cristian Garin vs Kei Nishikori
Head to Head: 1-0 Garin
Kei Nishikori was involved in a thrilling encounter with Guido Pella in the opening round. Despite struggling with injuries over the past few seasons, Nishikori has shown glimpses of his best form in 2021, reaching the quarterfinals in Rotterdam and Dubai and in Miami, he pushed Stefanos Tsitsipas to a deciding set. A former Barcelona finalist in 2015, Nishikori has had success at the tournament before and will be looking to continue his upward trajectory.
Christian Garin has had the best success of his career on clay, winning all five of his ATP Tour titles on the surface, including one at ATP 500 level at the 2020 Rio Open. In Monte Carlo, Garin came back from a break down in the opening set to defeat Felix Auger Aliassime and gave Stefanos Tsitsipas a good test, despite losing in straight sets. Garin beat Nishikori in Hamburg last year for the loss of only three games. However, Nishikori is in better form than he was last season and I think he will push Garin to a third set. However, with Garin already winning a title on clay this season at the Chile Open, he has had more matches on the clay. I think he will get the win.
Prediction: Garin in 3
Diego Schwartzman vs Frances Tiafoe
Head to Head: First Meeting
Diego Schwartzman has already won an ATP title this season at the Argentina Open, without dropping a set. However, the Argentine lost in the opening round of Monte Carlo last week to Casper Ruud. Schwartzman’s game is ideally suited to the surface, allowing him to utilize his exceptional movement and defensive game to wear down opponents and absorb power from the back of the court.
Frances Tiafoe seems to be back on the right track, having suffered to find his best form since the end of the 2019 season. The American recorded an impressive straight sets win over home favorite Carlos Alcaraz in the opening round. He has previously put in strong performances against Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open and Daniil Medvedev at the Miami Open, showing exceptional tactical awareness in the latter.
I think this will be a close match, going to three sets, but I think the Argentine is the more consistent of the two and is the better mover. Schwartzman will win in three tight sets.
Prediction: Schwartzman in 3
Juame Munar vs Stefanos Tsitsipas
Head to Head: 2-0 Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas won his first Masters 1000 title last week. He looked to be in exceptional form, particularly on serve. Despite the return of serve being one of the weaker areas of his game, the Greek has vastly improved it, developing a chip return; he was able to break serve regularly throughout the week in Monte Carlo and will be determined to win his first ATP 500 title this week in Barcelona.
Juame Munar has enjoyed good results on clay this season, reaching the quarterfinals at the Cordoba Open, and the final of the Andalucia Challenger and Andalucia Open 250 event the following week. Despite not possessing a major weapon, the Spaniard is an exceptional mover and tough to hit through from the back of the court.
Tsitsipas dominates the head to head. Due to confidence after winning in Monte Carlo and because of the extra firepower within his game, I think he wins in straight sets.
Prediction: Tsitsipas in 2
Main Photo from Getty.