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Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune will be in action this week.

Scouting Report: Djokovic, Alcaraz & Rune Keep Clay-Court Action Rolling

An executive summary of what every fan should know about the coming week

After a thrilling week in Monte-Carlo, the ATP Tour continues its clay-court season with events in Barcelona, Banja Luka and Munich.

Carlos Alcaraz headlines the field at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, an ATP 500 event. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is the top seed at the Srpska Open and Monte-Carlo finalist Holger Rune will try to maintain his momentum at the BMW Open by American Express.

ATPTour.com examines what to watch for at each of the three tournaments.

View Draws: Barcelona | Banja Luka | Munich

1) Alcaraz Defending Champ:
Alcaraz returns to the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona-1899, where he captured the title last year. The World No. 2 is 18-2 with two titles (Buenos Aires and Indian Wells) this season. Last year Alcaraz arrived in Barcelona having never won a match at the tournament, but he triumphed in three three-setters en route to the trophy. The 19-year-old will open against Ilya Ivashka or Nuno Borges.

2) Sinner Shining: The third player in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, Jannik Sinner is playing the best tennis of his career. The Italian has advanced to at least the semi-finals in his past five tournaments (title in Montpellier and finals in Rotterdam and Miami). The 2021 Barcelona semi-finalist will try to make a deeper run this edition, beginning with a match against Diego Schwartzman or Wu YIbing in the second round.

3) Stars To Watch: There are many more players to watch throughout the draw, led by two-time Barcelona finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is the second seed. Estoril champion Casper Ruud, the third seed, will try to continue regaining his momentum after a slow start to the season, and fifth seed Frances Tiafoe begins his European campaign after capturing his first clay-court title in Houston.

4) Spanish Armada: Alcaraz headlines a strong contingent of 11 Spaniards in the main draw. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina is the 10th seed and Roberto Bautista Agut is the 13th seed. Bautista Agut could be a third-round opponent for Alcaraz. The tournament’s wild cards went to home favourites Pablo Andujar, Feliciano Lopez, Daniel Rincon and Fernando Verdasco.

5) Loaded Doubles Field: Wesley Koolhof/Neal Skupski and Rajeev Ram/Joe Salisbury are the top two seeds in a loaded field, with the year’s three Masters 1000 champions, Matthew Ebden/Rohan Bopanna (Indian Wells), Santiago Gonzalez/Edouard Roger-Vasselin (Miami) and Ivan Dodig/Austin Krajicek (Monte-Carlo), all unseeded. Tsitsipas (w/ Nicolas Mahut) and Sinner (w/ Alex de Minaur) are also in the field.

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1) Djokovic In Action Again:
One week after a tough third-round loss to Lorenzo Musetti in Monte-Carlo, Djokovic will try to regain his momentum in Banja Luka. The World No. 1 is 16-2 this season and has lifted trophies in Adelaide and at the Australian Open. He will face a tough opening test against former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka or #NextGenATP Frenchman Luca Van Assche.

2) Rublev Rising: Second seed Andrey Rublev arrives in Bosnia and Herzegovina high on confidence after winning his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo. Having earned four of his 13 ATP Tour titles on clay, Rublev will try to add another on the surface to his collection this week. He opens against Hugo Gaston or Juan Pablo Varillas.

3) Wawrinka On Title Hunt: Wawrinka has shown glimpses of his best form in recent weeks, including when he ousted Monte-Carlo champion Holger Rune at Indian Wells. Will this be the week Wawrinka wins his first crown since 2017 in Geneva? The Swiss will face a stern opening challenge against the rapidly rising Van Assche to earn an even more difficult match with top-seeded Djokovic.

4) Monfils Leads Wild Cards: Singles wild cards were awarded to former Top 10 star Gael Monfils, Serbian Hamad Medjedovic (coached by Viktor Troicki) and home favourite Damir Dzumhur. Monfils is trying to return to form after missing more than six months due to a foot injury.

5) Murray/Venus Top Doubles Seeds: Jamie Murray and Michael Venus headline the doubles field. With 46 tour-level doubles crowns between them, they will try secure their second title as a team after triumphing earlier this year in Dallas. Belgians Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen, this season’s Pune and Estoril champions, are the second seeds.

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1) Rune Top Seed:
The Danish star Rune reached his second ATP Masters 1000 final in Monte-Carlo and added two more Top 10 wins to his growing resumé in the Principality. The 19-year-old will try to go a step further in Munich, where he triumphed last year on tournament debut. Rune will begin his tournament against Thiago Monteiro or Yannick Hanfmann.

2) Zverev Home Favourite: Third seed Alexander Zverev is a two-time champion in Munich, where he owns a 14-6 record. The German will be making his ninth appearance in the ATP 250 and will try to make a good start against Ugo Humbert or Christopher O’Connell.

3) Fritz On Fire: Second seed Taylor Fritz made a good start to his clay-court season in Monte-Carlo, where he advanced to the semi-finals of a Masters 1000 event for the first time on the surface. The American, already a champion this year in Delray Beach, will attempt to claim his maiden clay-court crown.

4) Thiem’s Time? Dominic Thiem returns to Munich for the first time since 2016, when he reached the final. The Austrian, who is competing in singles and doubles (with Matthias Bachinger) this week, has gained momentum in his quest for top form by reaching the Estoril quarter-finals and defeating former Top 10 star Richard Gasquet in Monte-Carlo.

5) Home Favourites Top Doubles Seeds: German Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz are the top seeds in the doubles draw. They will try to secure their first ATP Tour title together this week. The field is tough, though, with second seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah one of the most consistent duos over the past decade.

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