The Conde de Godó tournament (Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell) celebrates its 70th anniversary this year and will have a striking poster. As confirmed by the organization this Tuesday, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz, the two great male references of Spanish tennis, will parade from April 15th to 23rd on the fields of Real Club Tenis Barcelona. The Murcian has just regained the world number one thanks to his victory at the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells, while the Spaniard speeds up his days to arrive in the best possible condition for the clay trip after the injury sustained in Australia.
Nadal injured his iliac psoas (grade 2) on January 18 during the great Australian’s second-round clash with Mackenzie McDonald. The Spaniard, who turns 37 on June 3, is making good progress and gradually increasing his training pace. 12-time champion in Barcelona, the Spaniard will reappear on the RCTB after being unable to compete for a year due to a rib injury. He will be the main attraction along with Alcaraz, defender of the title and who last Sunday returned to the top of the classification.
The palmist, who signed a memorable tournament last year – winning in three sets in the quarterfinals against Tsitsipas, in addition to passing the tightrope by saving two match points against De Minaur in the semifinals –, will have the objective of winning his second Godó consecutive to pick up the race and prepare for his main objective in the clay season: winning Roland Garros, Nadal’s territory.
The main novelty of this seventieth edition of the Catalan tournament will be the presence of Daniil Medvedev (finalist in 2019 against Thiem) and Jannik Sinner (semifinalist in 2021 against Tsitsipas). Both were defeated by Alcaraz last week in Indian Wells –7-6, 6-3 against the Italian in the semifinals and 6-3, 6-2 against the Russian in the final–, so their participation will be another incentive in a very competitive and where peers will be able to play matches at the level, very common in the land of Barcelona.
“It’s a hard list to improve. Perhaps it will be the best ATP 500 this year”, evaluates the tournament director, David Ferrer, happy to have four members of the top 5. One of them is the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (3rd) and another the Norwegian Casper Ruud (4th). The Greek will return to the place where he made himself known, unexpectedly reaching the 2018 final, when he succumbed to Nadal (6-2 and 6-1); Meanwhile, the Nordic will look to change the trend of his uneven start to the season to be able to emulate his big tour on clay last year, with the Roland Garros final as the culmination.
Four of the top five rackets and eleven of the twenty best players in the world will be present in Barcelona, where we cannot lose sight of the rest of Spaniards such as Pablo Carreño, current runner-up and number 19 of the ATP ranking; Alejandro Davidovich, who opens his best position this week (25); or Roberto Bautista, Bernabé Zapata, Albert Ramos and Jaume Munar, among others. All this in a special edition for RCTB and its tennis club.
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