In what promises to be an excellent display of clay-court tennis, Pablo Carreno Busta will go head-to-head with his compatriot Carlos Alcaraz for the title at the ATP Barcelona Open. Both men will be desperate to claim the title on home turf and both will surely feel they have what it takes to get over the line in Catalonia? As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our prediction for the final. But who will come out on top?
ATP Barcelona Final Prediction
Carlos Alcaraz vs Pablo Carreno Busta
Head-to-head: first meeting
Alcaraz has already done enough to secure a place in the top ten when the rankings are updated on Monday, a just reward for an excellent season so far for the young gun, but having played some excellent tennis so far in Barcelona, he will not want to walk away empty handed. He started his campaign, after a first-round bye, against Kwon Soon-woo, getting the better of the South Korean in three sets. He was more assured in beating Jaume Munar 6-3 6-3 in the third round.
That set up a quarterfinal clash with top seed and 2021 runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Greek may well be growing concerned at the advantage that Alcaraz has enjoyed in their nascent rivalry as it was once again the Spaniard who came out on top, winning 6-4 5-7 6-2, to record his third victory in as many meetings. Alcaraz then had to dig deep to edge out Alex de Minaur in the last four, saving match points in the second set as he rallied to complete a 6-7 7-6 6-4 win.
Carreno Busta, meanwhile, started his week with a 6-3 6-3 win over Bernabe Zapata Miralles in the round of 32, having also enjoyed a first-round bye. He then battled past Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego, 6-2 5-7 6-2, to reach the quarterfinals where he came from a set down to beat second seed Casper Ruud. He then scored a surprisingly comprehensive victory over Diego Schwartzman, beating the Argentine 6-3 6-4. That may well prove crucial.
The weather has played havoc with the schedule in Barcelona, with both semifinals only completed earlier today. That might just be bad news for Alcaraz, who had to come through a gruelling three-set encounter with de Minaur which has surely left him drained physically and mentally. Carreno Busta had no such trouble in winning his semifinal. Alcaraz is clearly a champion in the making, and it’s not unthinkable that he will recover in time to win this match, but realistically it looks likely to be a bridge too far.
Prediction: Carreno Busta in 3′
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