Barcelona’s best draw ever


(photo credit: Tiziano Caffi in Barcelona)

Fans in Barcelona are being treated to one of the best line-ups in the tournament’s history.

Rafael Nadal, who won his 10th Barcelona Open last year, faces a tough task on his road to Roland Garros.

If Rafa wins his first match in Barcelona, he’s likely to meet Kei Nishikori, who he just beat to win his 11th Monte Carlo Masters. Nishikori has won Barcelona twice, in 2014 and 2015, and he beat Marin Cilic and Alexander Zverev in Monte Carlo before running out of gas versus Nadal.




(photo credit: Tiziano Caffi in Barcelona)

After that, Rafa could face Novak Djokovic, the only man to consistently claim clay titles during the Reign of Rafa.  Reunited with his longtime coach and mentor Marian Vajda, Djokovic is feeling rejuvenated enough to seek a wild-card entry into Barcelona.



(photo credit: Tiziano Caffi in Barcelona)


If Rafa survives that blockbuster quarter-final against Djokovic, he’s likely to see speedster David Goffin in the semis.



Rafa will need what he calls “right determination” for a potential rematch of last year’s final in Barcelona. Lurking on the other side of the draw is Grigor Dimitrov and also Dominic Thiem, the last man to beat Rafa on clay — in Rome last year.


(photo credit: Tiziano Caffi in Barcelona)

It’s a tough draw for Rafa, but a tougher draw for everybody that has to face him.



(words and images copyright Christopher Johnson, Globalite Media. Photos at the Barcelona Open by Tiziano Caffi. All rights reserved)