Schwartzman Sets Up Thiem Showdown In Barcelona

Argentina's Diego Schwartzman set up a second-round meeting against third seed Dominic Thiem on Monday at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. The 26-year-old Schwartzman overcame an up-and-down performance that included 53 unforced errors to beat Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Nishioka, who hit 16 winners to 42 unforced errors, struggled with cramps as the two-hour and 19-minute match finished. Schwartzman was playing his third match in Barcelona after having to qualify because the Argentine, No. 25 in the ATP Rankings, forgot to sign up before the tournament deadline.

He trails Thiem 2-3 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, although Schwartzman has won their past two matchups, including earlier this year 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(5) at the Argentina Open in February.

Home favourites went 2-2 on day one in Barcelona. Jaume Munar ran away with his first-rounder against Portuguese qualifier Pedro Sousa 2-6, 6-4, 6-0, and will next meet #NextGenATP American and 14th seed Frances Tiafoe. Both players competed at the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.

In an all-Spanish battle, 2010 champion Fernando Verdasco beat wild card Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-3. Verdasco, the only former champion in the draw besides Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori, will next meet 13th seed Grigor Dimitrov.

Chilean lucky loser Nicolas Jarry gained revenge against Spain's Marcel Granollers 7-5, 4-6, 6-4. Granollers had beaten Jarry in three sets in the final round of qualifying. The 23-year-old Jarry will next meet second seed Alexander Zverev of Germany.

Argentina's Leonardo Mayer will face top seed and 11-time champion Rafael Nadal. Mayer outplayed Romanian Marius Copil 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-5 to advance.

American Taylor Fritz will face Nishikori for the second time in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series on Tuesday (Nishikori leads 1-0). Fritz ousted friend and compatriot Reilly Opelka 6-3, 6-4.

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Berrettini Records First Upset Of The Week In Budapest

Matteo Berrettini of Italy provided the first surprise win of this year’s Hungarian Open on Monday. In a wild match featuring eight breaks of serve, he hung tough in Budapest to defeat seventh seed Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-4.

Berrettini will play Aljaz Bedene in the second round. The Slovenian recovered from being down a double break in the opening set to defeat Aussie Bernard Tomic 7-6(3), 6-3.

Eighth seed Radu Albot continued his fine form this season with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine. The Moldovan broke his opponent twice in each set and secured the win on his fourth match point after one hour and 41 minutes. He’ll take on qualifier Filip Krajinovic of Serbia, who squandered four match points in the second set before recovering to beat Italian Andreas Seppi 6-2, 6-7(3), 7-5.

The first doubles match of the week saw third seeds Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski of Great Britain defeat Mate Valkusz of Hungary and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia 6-0, 7-6(4).

Tuesday’s schedule features fifth seed Laslo Djere of Serbia, sixth seed and 2018 finalist John Millman of Australia and Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters runner-up Dusan Lajovic of Serbia.

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Nadal In Barcelona: 'What Has Happened Has Happened'

Rafael Nadal walked away from the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters last week without playing in the ATP Masters 1000 final for the first time since 2015. But the Spaniard, who lost to eventual champion Fabio Fognini in the semi-finals, is ready to put the upset behind him.

“My personal opinion is that I played one of the worst matches on clay. It's a reality. There is no need to hide it. I do not see the benefit of wanting to deny it,” Nadal said on Monday after playing mini tennis with Kei Nishikori at the Palau de la Música Catalana. “What has happened has happened.”

The 32-year-old was playing in his first tournament since March's BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. On 15 March, Nadal beat Karen Khachanov in the quarter-finals but the Spaniard had to withdraw from his semi-final against Roger Federer.

This week, Nadal is the top seed at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell and is going for his 12th title at the ATP 500 event.

“In Monte-Carlo, I took a step forward with how I was a week before. I lost a good opportunity to start the season in a fantastic way. But now I'm going to have another one,” he said.

“This is a very special tournament that is part of the history of tennis and of my own. I have another morning to practice, and we will see how we are doing. On a physical level, I'm more or less well.”

Nadal is 58-3 at the event and won his 11th Barcelona title – and third straight – last year. The World No. 2 even has his own court – Pista Rafa Nadal – at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona-1899, the oldest Spanish tennis club.

“It is true that I have not won any titles, but I reached the final in Australia, semi-finals in Indian Wells and now semi-finals again in Monte-Carlo. The year is not bad and I'm third in the [ATP Race To London], but with more problems than I would have liked,” Nadal said.

“The job is to find myself. During the last 18 months, I have had too many stops and ups and downs, non-tennis related. And when that happens, it's hard to pick up rhythm and continuity. But it is true that it has happened so many times, and that after things go well... everything that happened seems to be forgotten. I hope to be ready to play well. And if it is not here, it will be in Madrid, in Rome or at Roland Garros.”

Nadal will open against Argentine Leonardo Mayer, a 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-5 w

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20 Things To Watch In Barcelona, Budapest

The European clay-court swing continues this week in Barcelona and Budapest, with top players, including Rafael Nadal and Marin Cilic, respectively, leading the fields. Here are 20 things to watch from the ATP 500 and ATP 250 events:

10 Things To Watch In Barcelona

1) Best in Barcelona: 11-time champion Rafael Nadal leads a star-studded field at the 2019 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. Also competing at the ATP Tour 500 event are former champions Kei Nishikori and Fernando Verdasco, Top 10 players Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, and Stefanos Tsitsipas, and last week’s ATP Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo champion Fabio Fognini.

2) Pista Rafa Nadal: The Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell named a court after World No. 2 Nadal in 2017. It becomes crystal clear why that decision was made after reviewing his 58-3 record at Barcelona and the fact that the top seed won the trophy for the 11th time at the event last year – a feat he had also accomplished the week prior at Monte-Carlo, and then repeated at Roland Garros.

3) Special Kei: No. 4 seed Nishikori is the most recent dominant player at Barcelona other than Nadal, as the Japanese star picked up the two trophies between Nadal’s three-year title streaks of 2011-13 and 2016-18. Nishikori reeled off 14 straight wins at the event from 2014 to 2016, and nearly pulled off the hat-trick before his run was stopped in the 2016 final by Nadal.

4) Fog Rolling In: Before last week, Fognini had a 4-8 win-loss record in 2019, including going 0-for-4 on clay. That suddenly changed when he clinched his first ATP Masters 1000 title at Monte-Carlo, defeating 11-time champion Nadal in the semi-finals before a final victory over Dusan Lajovic. Fognini, the first Italian to win an ATP Masters 1000 title, is at a new career-high ranking of No. 12.

5) From A to Z: No. 2 seed Zverev is no stranger to ATP Masters 1000 titles, as the 22-year-old is the only active player other than Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray to have claimed at least three titles at that level. Nevertheless, the World No. 3 comes into Barcelona still looking for his first title of 2019, and has advanced to a quarter-final-or-better just once this year.

6) Greece is the Word: Tsitsipas burst onto the scene at Barcelona last year. The #NextGenATP Greek star was ranked just

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Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell: What You Need To Know

The Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, an ATP 500 tournament, has been held at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona-1899, the oldest Spanish tennis club, since 1953. Fourteen of the past 16 editions have been won by Spaniards: Rafael Nadal (2005-09, 2011-13, 2016-18), Carlos Moya (2003), Tommy Robredo (2004) and Fernando Verdasco (2010). Japan's Kei Nishikori won back-to-back titles in 2014-15. 

Nadal will look to win the Trofeo Conde de Godo for a 12th time in 2019, and will be joined in the field by Nishikori and former finalists Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Here's all you need to know about Barcelona tennis tournament: when is the draw, what is the schedule, where to watch, who won and more. 


Tournament Dates: 23-28 April 2019

Tournament Director: Albert Costa

Draw Ceremony: Saturday, 20 April at 12pm

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Schedule (View On Official Website)
* Qualifying: Saturday at 10:00am and Sunday at 12:15pm
* Main draw: Monday - Thursday at 11:00am, Friday at 12:30pm and Saturday at 1:30am
* Doubles final: Sunday, 28 April at 1:00pm
* Singles final: Sunday, 28 April not before 4:00pm

How To Watch
Watch Live On Tennis TV  

Watch Live

Venue: Real Club de Tenis Barcelona 1899
Main Court Seating: 8,000

Prize Money: €2,609,135 (Total Financial Commitment: € 2,746,455) 

Tickets On Sale: Buy Now 

View Who Is Playing, Past Champions, Seeds, Points & Prize Money Breakdown

Honour Roll (Open Era)
Most Titles, Singles: Rafael Nadal (11)
Most Titles, Doubles: Daniel Nestor (4)
Oldest Champion: Manuel Santana, 32, in 1970
Youngest Champion: Mats Wilander, 18, in 1982
Lowest-Ranked Champion (since 1979): No. 65 Todd Martin in 1998
Most Match Wins: Rafael Nadal (58) 

2018 Finals
Singles: [1] Rafael Nadal (ESP) d Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)

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Hungarian Open: What You Need To Know

The Hungarian Open made its debut in 2017, marking the first time that Hungary has hosted an ATP Tour event. France's Lucas Pouille won the inaugural edition of the clay-court event, with Marco Cecchinato of Italy lifting the trophy in 2018.

Marin Cilic, Borna Coric and Nikoloz Basilashvili lead the 2019 field, and are joined by last week's Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters final Dusan Lajovic. 

Here's all you need to know about Budapest tennis tournament: when is the draw, what is the schedule, where to watch, who won and more. 

Established: 2017

Tournament Dates: 23-28 April 2019

Tournament Director: Attila Richter

Draw Ceremony: Saturday, 20 April at 5:30pm

Are You In? Subscribe To Get Tournament Updates In Your Inbox

* Main draw: Monday - Friday at 11:00am, Saturday from 12:30pm
* Doubles final: Sunday, 28 April at 1:00pm
* Singles final: Sunday, 28 April at 3:00pm

How To Watch
Watch Live On Tennis TV  

Watch Live

Venue: Sport11 Sport and Event Center
Main Court Seating: 3,882

Prize Money: € 524,340 (Total Financial Commitment: € 586,140) 

Tickets On Sale: Buy Now 

View Who Is Playing, Past Champions, Seeds, Points & Prize Money Breakdown

Honour Roll
Most Titles, Singles: Marco Cecchinato, Lucas Pouille (1)
Most Titles, Doubles: Brian Baker, Nikola Mektic, Dominic Inglot, Franko Skugor (1)
Oldest Champion: Marco Cecchinato, 25, in 2018
Youngest Champion: Lucas Pouille, 23, in 2017
Lowest-Ranked Champion: No. 92 Marco Cecchinato in 2018
Most Match Wins: Aljaz Bedene (7) 

2018 Finals
Singles: [LL] Marco Cecchinato (ITA) d John Millman (AUS) 75 64   Read & Watch
Doubles: Dominic Inglot (GBR) / Franko Skugor (CRO) d [4] Matwe Middelkoop (NED) / Artem Molteni (ARG) 67(8) 61 10-8  Read More

Hashtag: #HungarianOpen

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