ATP Barcelona Day 1 Predictions Including Bernabe Zapata Miralles vs Tommy Robredo

Bernabe Zapata Miralles in action ahead of the ATP Barcelona Open.

Main draw action starts on Monday at the ATP Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell with nine first-round matches on the slate in the Catalan capital. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our predictions for every match on the schedule, including Lorenzo Musetti vs Sebastian Baez. But who will book their place in the second round?

ATP Barcelona Day 1 Predictions

Nicolas Alvarez Varona vs Brandon Nakashima

Head-to-head: first meeting

How good will Brandon Nakashima be on clay? That question is still unanswered as the American had some decent performances on it before, but has been nowhere near as successful as on hard. He’s also yet to play on the dirt this year. Nicolas Alvarez Varona, meanwhile, feels very natural in these conditions and while he hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire, the 20-year-old could start making more impact at the Challenger level very soon. His movement and great tennis IQ suit this surface and with much more practice on it this year, this might be enough to score an upset here.

Prediction: Alvarez Varona in 3
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Maxime Cressy vs Elias Ymer

Head-to-head: Ymer 2-0 Cressy

Maxime Cressy isn’t at his best on clay courts, but his serve can always do a lot of damage, regardless of the playing conditions. Elias Ymer beat him at the Ostrava Challenger two years ago, but the match ended up being very tight. Anyhow, on a slower court the Swede’s chances of somehow negating Cressy’s power are much higher. Ymer will be much more in his element here and had one of the more impressive qualifying campaigns, defeating Carlos Gimeno Valero and Pedro Sousa.

Prediction: Ymer in 3
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Hugo Grenier vs Mackenzie McDonald

Head-to-head: first meeting

Hugo Grenier’s Challenger success has earned him the right to test himself against the world’s best in main tour events, but his breakthrough (if it comes), probably won’t be on clay. The Frenchman was rather heavily defeated by Carlos Taberner in the final qualifying round and only made it to the event as a lucky loser. While Mackenzie McDonald has little experience on the clay, he had a brilliant season on clay in 2021, going 12-5 with a number of solid wins. He also nearly took out Cristian Garin at the French Open. If he can replicate some of that tennis, he should have the edge.

Prediction: McDonald in 2
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Kwon Soonwoo vs Benoit Paire

Head-to-head: Paire 1-0 Kwon

Predicting Benoit Paire to win tennis matches has been a dangerous game in recent years (pretty much since the pandemic). The Frenchman is 0-4 on clay courts this year, but the list of opponents he has faced so far – Dusan Lajovic, Francisco Cerundolo, Jaume Munar, Lorenzo Musetti – suggests that he has probably played better than his record shows. At any rate, this is by far the most winnable match he’s had. Kwon Soonwoo’s flatter groundstrokes simply don’t suit this surface very well. In fact, the South Korean has only played 23 matches on it in his entire career and won only a handful. It’s a great chance for Paire to score a much-needed win. He can only today if his head is in the game though.

Prediction: Paire in 3
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Bernabe Zapata Miralles vs Tommy Robredo

Head-to-head: Zapata Miralles 1-1 Robredo

Will this be the last match in Tommy Robredo’s career? It very well might be as the Spaniard is retiring after this event and faces a dangerous foe. Bernabe Zapata Miralles crushed Manuel Guinard and Alexis Gautier in the qualifying, while Robredo has only played two matches this year at the Monterrey Challenger. His fitness is under a question mark at almost 40 years of age. The former world #5 has always been a fighter, as well as a very fine player, and playing his favorite tournament (which he won 18 years ago in 2004) will surely fuel him with passion and fire yet again. Taking a set is one thing though and winning a gruelling physical battle is quite another. That might just be impossible at this stage.

Prediction: Zapata Miralles in 3

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