Second-round action gets underway on Day 2 at the ATP Barcelona Open. But an overflow of first-round matches will be concluded, too. As always we here at LWOT have every match covered in our daily predictions, including Carlos Alcaraz vs Nuno Borges and Casper Ruud vs Ben Shelton. Who do you think will come out on top?
ATP Barcelona Day 2 Predictions
Alexander Shevchenko vs Lorenzo Giustino
Head-to-head: Shevchenko 1-0 Giustino
Alexander Shevchenko capped off his Madrid Challenger success at the weekend with a Top 100 breakthrough. Lorenzo Giustino, for his part, outlasted Geoffrey Blancaneaux in the final round of qualifying by winning a third-set tiebreak, marking the first time since February he’s managed to win back-to-back matches at any level. Shevchenko defeated Giustino in their only career meeting in Tenerife en route to the title in January. And in the form he is in, the Russian should hold all the cards here.
Prediction: Shevchenko in 2
David Goffin vs Feliciano Lopez
Head-to-head: Goffin 4-1 Lopez
Feliciano Lopez is cherishing every second of his farewell tour. He played on clay for the first time in almost a year at the Murcia Challenger and surprisingly kept the score close in his defeat to Matteo Arnaldi. Goffin, meanwhile, is playing in his second match since February following a knee injury. If the Belgian falters again, he’ll have a three-digit ranking for the first time since 2014. Goffin has a lot to lose here and we should expect a response.
Prediction: Goffin in 2
Roberto Bautista Agut vs Bernabe Zapata Miralles
Head-to-head: first meeting
Zapata Miralles made short work of Attila Balazs, cruising to a 6-2 6-2 win in his opener. Bautista Agut, meanwhile, had a bye in the first round and will attempt to pick up his second win in seven matches. The last month or so has been particularly testing for the 33-year-old who dropped outside the top 20 after his unsuccessful title defense in Doha and failed to win a match in each of his last three tournaments prior to Monte Carlo. And now he is slated to play a perennial threat on this surface. Zapata Miralles makes his living out-dueling and outmuscling his opponents on the red clay. The confidence and the tenacity that always encapsulates Bautista Agut seems lost and you suspect Zapata Miralles will never get an opportune time to play his countryman.
Prediction: Zapata Miralles in 3
Frances Tiafoe vs Emil Ruusuvuori
Head-to-head: Ruusuvuori 2-0 Tiafoe
Frances Tiafoe withdrew from Monte Carlo this past week shortly after winning his second career title in Houston. Obviously with the hectic schedule at the event due to multiple rain interruptions, it meant Tiafoe would be unable to travel in time to play his opening match in Monaco. Apparently, Tiafoe traveled to Monte Carlo a few days after winning Houston and hit the practice courts there. And now the man who took his place at the Principality is his second-round opponent in Barcelona.
Ruusuvuori easily dispatched Alexander Bublik in his opener, dropping just three games. The Finn is a powerful ball striker and plays at a searing pace off both wings. But on clay, he can be neutralized against tactically astute players like Tiafoe. The head-to-head doesn’t make for good reading if you’re a Tiafoe fan, but they haven’t clashed on clay. Expect Tiafoe to have an edge.
Prediction: Tiafoe in 3
Main Photo Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports