Barcelona Draw: Stefanos Tsitsipas face tricky path to the final
If Stefanos Tsitsipas wants to reach back-to-back finals on clay when he touches down in Barcelona, he is going to have his work cut out for him.
Tsitsipas reached the final in Barcelona last year and could face Monte Carlo semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov in the third round.
Meanwhile, fifth seed Carlos Alcaraz lurks as a potential quarter-final opponent, provided the Spaniard doesn’t suffer another early exit.
The first opponent for the top seed will be determined by the contest between Ilya Ivashka and Spaniard Pedro Martinez.
Second-seeded Casper Ruud enjoys what looks like an easier draw in the early stages in Barcelona.
Ruud is lined up to meet 16th seed Alexander Bublik in the third round but given his performance in Monte Carlo, the Kazakh will have to up his level to reach the Round of 32.
Bublik faces a second round meeting with either Spanish wildcard Feliciano Lopez or Finnish young gun Emil Ruusuvuori.
If seeding prevails, Ruud will face Pablo Carreno Busta in the quarterfinals.
Carreno Busta will have to come through a section of the draw that includes wildcard Tommy Robredo and 11th seed Lorenzo Sonego.
Third seed Felix Auger-Aliassime faces a potentially tricky second round match against Sebastian Korda provided the American can get past a qualifier in the first round.
Also in Auger-Aliassime’s quarter is unseeded Monte Carlo finalist Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
Davidovich Fokina will face 13th seeded American Frances Tiafoe if he can beat a qualifier in the Barcelona first round.
With Andy Murray absent, British hopes are pegged on their two seeded players Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans.
Norrie, seeded fourth, will face either Frenchman Adrian Mannarino or a qualifier in his opening match in the second round.
Evans also enjoys a bye as the 12th seed but he faces a potentially tough match against Lorenzo Musetti provided the Italian can clear Sebastian Baez.
The Brits are both set on course for meetings with Argentine opponents in the last eight in Barcelona.
Norrie could face Frederico Delbonis while Evans is plotted on a course to clash with Monte Carlo quarterfinalist Diego Schwartzman.
Fifth seed Alcaraz could face ninth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in a third-round battle should both men win their Barcelona openers.
Alcaraz will meet either Benoit Paire or Soonwoo Kwon in the second round.
Basilashvili will meet either wildcard Jaume Munar or Arthur Rinderknech in his opening match.
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