The countdown to the second Grand Slam of the season is well underway, as the top players are gearing up for the gruelling clay courts at the French Open. One of the crucial final prep tournaments before the prestigious event takes place between April 15 and April 23 in Catalonia, as the Barcelona Open takes centre stage.
Barcelona Open History
The Barcelona Open is an ATP 500 event, and has been a common stop for most of the top players throughout its history. That has been evident from the roll of honour of players that have claimed victory at the event, with Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz, and Bjorn Borg among those.
Nadal holds the record for the most titles at the event, as he has claimed 12 honours throughout his prestigious career. The Spaniard also holds the record as the oldest champion, as he won aged 34 in 2021.
He also claimed victories in 2009, 2011 and 2018 as the number one ranked player in the world. Nadal also holds the incredible record of going 66 matches without defeat at the Barcelona Open.
Barcelona Open Field
The big loss for the event this year is the fact that Nadal is ‘90%’ unlikely to play after suffering from illness. However, the hometown crowd will still have another local hero to cheer on, as Carlos Alcaraz will be back to defend his crown.
The 19-year-old will be looking to win a second Grand Slam title in France, and comes into this event in Barcelona in strong recent form. Alcaraz reached the last four of the Miami Open at the start of the month, before he was eliminated by Jannik Sinner in the semi-finals. It may be challenging to see past the hometown player in the event, as he has a dominant 75% win rate on the clay.
Casper Ruud will also be among the leading contenders for the event in Barcelona, as he searches for another ATP Tour title. However, he could have more to find on current form than other players, as he exited the recent Monte-Carlo Masters in the round of 16.
Daniil Medvedev certainly looks like another prominent contender in the field for the event in Barcelona. The Russian endured a miserable time at the Australian Open earlier in the season, but he has eased through the opening round of the Monte-Carlo Masters on the clay heading into the Barcelona Open.
During that run, he has dropped just a single set. Further evidence of his return to form is also found from his success at the Miami Open at the start of the month. He looks to be the leading contender to rival Alcaraz for success in Catalonia.
Barcelona Open Prediction
It should be a thrilling event in Barcelona, and there is sure to be a number of interesting betting heats at BetXchange to get involved with. However, we struggle to see past the reigning champion successfully defending his title. Alcaraz will come into the Barcelona Open fresher than most of his rivals, and his record on the clay speaks for itself.
Pick: Carlos Alcaraz at BetXchange.