Barcelona Open: Zverev hits 2nd round; Nadal warms up

Barcelona Open: Zverev hits 2nd round; Nadal warms up

Rising star Alexander Zverev was one of nine players to book their second round ticket at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell on Monday.

In an all-German clash on the Pista Central, the #NextGen player beat qualifier Jan-Lennard Struff in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.

Zverev will celebrate his 19th birthday on Wednesday when he will take on Brazil’s World No. 35 Thomaz Bellucci.

This year, the young German has already defeated three top 20 players with Gilles Simon (twice) and US Open champion Marin Cilic.

Two former runner-ups were knocked out at the Real Club Tennis Barcelona-1899 today.

Teymuraz Gabashvili saved two match points in the second set to fight back and upset Nicolas Almagro in front of his home crowd 1-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2.

Almagro finished runner-up to Nadal in 2013.

Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo, who reached the final against Kei Nishikori in 2014, was sent home by Czech qualifier Radek Stepanek.

The veteran star saw off Giraldo in straight sets 6-4, 7-5.

Spain’s Iñigo Cervantes and Albert Montañés (foto) are the only two Spaniards to reach the second round, defeating Franko Skugor Roberto Carballes, respectively.

Nadal’s and Nishikori’s rivals to be revealed today

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori will find out their rivals on Wednesday at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell today.

So far, third-seed David Ferrer and fourth-seed Richard Gasquet already know their opponents (Radek Stepanek and Malek Jaziri, respectively).

But the Barcelona champions from Spain and Japan are eager to prepare their debut.

Top-seed Nadal aims to clinch his record ninth title at the Real Club Tennis Barcelona-1899.

He will face the winner between fellow Spaniards Marcel Granollers and Daniel Muñoz.

Two-time reigning champion Nishikori will take on the winner of the clash between Victor Estrella and Jeremy Chardy, who play the last match of the day on Pista 2.

The Center Court will feature the Spanish Armada today as Pablo Carreño takes on Denis Istomin.

It will be followed by Granollers against Muñoz, Roberto Bautista against Karen Khachanov, and Albert Ramos against youngster Jaume Munar.

Other top matches include Marton Fucscovics v. Ernests Gulbis, Alexandr Dolgopolov v. Evgeny Donskoy and Benoit Paire v. Teymuraz Gabashvili.

Dolgopolov will aim to win his first match in three attempts at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.

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Barcelona Open: Zverev