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.
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.
Top Seeds Fall In Doubles
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.