Nadal To Meet Granollers In Barcelona Opener; Bautista Agut Upset

Spaniard superstar will aim to improve his 43-3 record in the city

Rafael Nadal will begin his quest for a ninth title at the Barcelona Open BancSabadell against fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers on Wednesday. Nadal, who lifted his 28th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (d. Monfils) last week, leads Granollers 3-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. Granollers struck 10 aces in a 6-4, 6-3 win over Daniel Munoz de la Nava for his second-round berth.

Roberto Bautista Agut, the fifth seed, experienced his first opening-round loss since June 2015 (London-Queen's Club, l. to Verdasco), early evening. Qualifier Karen Khachanov, part of the ATP's Next Generation, held his nerve to win 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-3 in two hours and 25 minutes. Khachanov saved one match point to beat Aljaz Bedene on Monday.

Alexandr Dolgopolov, the No. 11 seed, reached the third round by saving one match point at 7/8 in the second set tie-break against Evgeny Donskoy. Dolgopolov triumphed 4-6, 7-6(9), 6-4.

A pair of Frenchmen also won in second-round action Tuesday. Sixth seed Benoit Paire defeated Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-2, 7-5, while No. 13 seed Jeremy Chardy posted a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Victor Estrella Burgos. Chardy awaits the winner between two-time defending champion Kei Nishikori and Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker. In a Barcelona first-round rematch, de Bakker once again got the better of Elias Ymer, prevailing against the 20-year-old Swede 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-3.

Former World No. 8 Mikhail Youzhny proved to be too strong for Rajeev Ram in a 6-2, 6-2 win over 69 minutes. He now faces No. 12 seed Fabio Fognini in the second round.

Croatian Ivan Dodig set a second-round meeting with No. 7 seed Feliciano Lopez after rallying past Argentine qualifier Pedro Cachin 5-7, 6-2, 6-4.

Top Seeds Fall In Doubles

Ivan Dodig and partner Marcelo Melo, the No. 1 seeds in the doubles draw, lost in their opening match to wild cards Pablo Cuevas and Marcel Granollers, 7-6(2), 6-3.

Cuevas and Granollers go on to face Australian Open finalists Daniel Nestor and Radek Stepanek, who held on for a 6-3, 5-7, 10-8 win over Oliver Marach and Fabrice Martin.

Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez also prevailed in a Match Tie-break, edging Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Nenad Zimonjic 6-2, 3-6, 10-7, while Treat Huey and Max Mirnyi closed out a 7-6(5), 3-6, 10-7 win over Robert Lindstedt and Alexander Peya.

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