Main draw action commences on Monday at the ATP 500 level Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. A stacked field in Barcelona includes some of the best players in the world, such as a confident Stefanos Tsitsipas fresh from defending his title in Monte Carlo. Seeded players receive a bye through the first round this week, but there’s still some interesting first round matches to take a look at including Tommy Robredo’s swan song. Jaume Munar will be out to impress his home crowd on day 1 where he comes up against Arthur Rinderknech. The Frenchman is ranked 46 places higher than the Spaniard, but Munar is vastly more credentialed on the clay. Who will prevail?
ATP Barcelona Day 1 Predictions
Marcos Giron vs Federico Coria
H2H: Giron 1-0.
Federico Coria arrives in Barcelona in good form after a run to the semifinals in Marrakech a few weeks ago. The Argentine is currently sitting at a career high ranking of #55 in the world. Marco Giron arrives in Barcelona in contrasting form having lost five consecutive matches, including back-to-back first round exits to begin his clay court season.
Giron won the only previous meeting between the pair, a 6-3 6-2 victory on clay at the Sarasota challenger event in 2017. Much has changed since then, Coria’s level has especially improved, so expect a very different result on this occasion. Coria’s form is vastly better, his results on clay over the last few seasons are also significantly more impressive, these signs point to a Coria victory.
Prediction: Coria in 2.
Lorenzo Musetti vs Sebastian Baez
H2H: Baez 1-0.
Lorenzo Musetti is building some momentum on the clay over the last few weeks. A quarterfinal appearance in Marrakech was followed by a third round showing in Monte Carlo. The Italian picked up notable wins over Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Felix Auger-Aliassime during those runs. Meanwhile, Sebastian Baez hasn’t had much success of late, the Argentine hasn’t won a main draw match since losing in the Santiago final almost two months ago.
The only previous meeting between the pair took place at the Next Gen Finals last year, Baez won 4-1 4-1 3-4 4-3. This is a tough matchup between two talented young players that both play their best tennis on the red dirt. I’d give the slight to Baez in this matchup thanks to his more disciplined style and consistent results on clay. Musetti has more variety to his game, but with that comes greater vulnerabilities which the steadier style of Baez can exploit over three sets in these conditions.
Prediction: Baez in 3
Adrian Mannarino vs Egor Gerasimov
H2H: Mannarino 3-1.
Adrian Mannarino arrives in Barcelona on a 5-match losing streak dating back to Delray Beach almost two months ago. Egor Gerasimov hasn’t won a main draw match since the very first week of the season in Adelaide. The Belarusian did manage to snap a 6-match losing streak with a couple of comfortable wins through the qualifying draw in Barcelona.
All three of the previous tour level meetings between the pair were on an indoor hard court. Mannarino won their most recent clash 6-4 7-6 in Sofia in 2020. This is a tough match to call because neither is playing with much confidence right now and neither player is especially comfortable on the clay. I’ll give Mannarino the benefit of the doubt as he is definitely the more talented of the two and has the head-to-head edge.
Prediction: Mannarino in 3.
Jaume Munar vs Arthur Rinderknech
H2H: First meeting.
Jaume Munar is ranked just outside the top 100 at the moment, but his true level on clay is much better than that ranking suggests. The Spaniard won the Marbella Challenger event on clay a few weeks ago and is definitely well accustomed to the red dirt having played the majority of the reason on clay thanks to his commitment to the South American swing.
Arthur Rinderknech doesn’t look like a player that would excel on the red dirt. However, the Frenchman did have some good results on clay last season, he made four tour level quarterfinals on clay. It’s still fair to say that clay is the Frenchman’s least favourable surface given his playing style which is better suited to quick conditions. With that in mind I’d favour Munar in this matchup on a clay court. Munar should have the edge from the back of the court in these conditions. His defensive skills will negate the Frenchman’s weapons. Rinderknech likes to move up the court, but Munar likes a target at the net and will be an uncomfortable opponent for the Frenchman.
Prediction: Munar in 2.