Musetti Downs Baez For Opening Day Win In Barcelona

Nakashima sets meeting with second seed Ruud

#NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti maintained his strong start to the clay-court season Monday, moving past Argentine Sebastian Baez 7-5, 7-5 to reach the second round at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.

In a meeting between two 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals competitors, Musetti came out on top as he produced high-quality ball-striking to advance after one hour and 51 minutes. The 20-year-old has now improved to 5-2 on the season on clay, having upset World No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime en route to the third round at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters last week.

“He played well. I was playing every point at 100 per cent and there were a lot of rallies,” Musetti said. “He is a good fighter and it was not easy to close out the match. But I am in the second round and I am really happy.”

Musetti, who advanced to the second round on debut in Barcelona last season, will next face 12th seed Daniel Evans. Musetti won their only meeting in Cagliari in three sets in 2021.

"It was a really spicy match. A really tough match, especially at the end," Musetti said when reflecting on his previous clash with Evans. "Tomorrow I am ready to do battle again and let's see what I can do."

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Fellow #NextGenATP star Brandon Nakashima also advanced, dispatching Spanish qualifier Nicolas Alvarez Varona 7-6(6), 6-3 to set up a second-round meeting with second seed Casper Ruud.

The American saved two set points in the first set before powering to victory in one hour and 49 minutes. Nakashima reached the last eight at the Sydney Tennis Classic in January and was playing his first match on clay this season against Alvarez Varona.

Spaniard Tommy Robredo competed for the final time Monday after he lost to Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-1, 6-1. The former World No. 5, who lifted the title in Barcelona in 2004, announced he would retire after playing in Barcelona this week.

Robredo won 12 ATP Tour titles, including one ATP Masters 1000 crown in Hamburg in 2006.

Spanish wild card Jaume Munar moved past Italian Gian Marco Moroni 6-2, 6-4, while Soonwoo Kwon defeated Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-4, 6-4. Munar next plays Nikoloz Basilashvili, with Kwon taking on Miami titlist Carlos Alcaraz.

In other action, Swede Elias Ymer defeated American Maxime Cressy 6-3, 6-0 in 50 minutes and Argentine Federico Coria downed Marcos Giron 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

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