Barcelona Open rolls, as Nadal and Nishikori kicks off

Barcelona Open rolls, as Nadal and Nishikori kicks off

It’s showtime in Barcelona Open.

Kei Nishikori and Rafael Nadal inaugurated the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell in style, playing tennis on top of Tibidabo Mountain and overlooking the Catalan capital.

The top seeds enjoyed the great photo opportunity ahead of their debut at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona-1899.

Two-time reigning champion Nishikori will start his title defense on Wednesday against the winner between Elias Ymer of Sweden and Dutch Thiemo de Bakker.

Eight-time Barcelona champion Nadal will start his quest for a record-ninth crown against the winner of the all-Spanish duel between Marcel Granollers and Daniel Munoz de la Nava.

The Mallorcan will celebrate his debut also on Wednesday.

Nadal arrived in Barcelona today after claiming his record ninth title at the Monte Carlo Masters on Sunday.

The tournament’s main draw is underway at the Real Club Tenis Barcelona-1899 and fans are looking forward to seeing the world’s best players live in action from today until Sunday.

Action on the Pista Central will kick off at 11am with Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin against Estrella Burgos from the Dominican Republic.

The World No. 68 Burgos has already claimed one title on clay in Quito this season. The pair is meeting for the first time.

In another top match on the Center Court, Nicolas Almagro will take on Russia’s Teymuraz Gabashvili.
The Spaniard finished runner-up in the Catalan capital in 2013 and will aim to qualify for a second round clash against six-seeded World No. 22 Benoit Paire.

“I’m feeling well and am happy to be back here in Barcelona,” said Almagro.

“Hopefully I can achieve a great result here again.”

In the meantime on Court 1, 2014 runner-up Santiago Giraldo from Colombia will seek to clinch his first win in three attempts against Czech World No. 163 Radek Stepanek.

Stepanek qualified for the main draw this weekend.

The match will be followed by Roberto Carballes taking on Albert Montanes in an all-Spanish blockbuster.

Veteran Montanes won the only encounter against the 23-year-old rival in Oeiras in Portugal two years ago.

In Monday’s last match on the Pista Central, tennis fans can look forward to an all-German match between #NextGen stars Jan-Lennard Struff and rising star Alexander Zverev.

Zverev beat two top 20 players this season (Gilles Simon twice and US Open champion Marin Cilic on one occasion).

Zverev will celebrate his 19th birthday on Tuesday in Barcelona.

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