Barcelona Open Tournament Director David Ferrer is disappointed that Rafael Nadal will not take part in the tournament this week, but he is delighted to have Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud. Tsitsipas, 23, has become a regular guest at the Barcelona Open as he makes his fourth straight appearance at the tournament.
Tsitsipas reached the Barcelona finals in 2018 and 2021, losing to Rafael Nadal each time. Nadal, a record 12-time Barcelona champion, is skipping this year’s event as he is still recovering from a stress fracture in one of his ribs.
“I’m very happy to have players like Tsitsipas who made the final with Rafa last year and was on the verge of winning Roland Garros, he’s a very charismatic player,” Ferrer told La Vanguardia, according to Sportskeeda. “Then we have a new top 10 like Casper Ruud, who played the Masters last year and is very good on clay.
From there I want to name Roberto Bautista, Pablo Carreño and of course Carlos Alcaraz, the revelation of this year, a young player with a great future and who will be a benchmark for Spanish tennis after Rafa.”
Tsitsipas aims for back-to-back titles
Tsitsipas kicked off his clay-court season in style, winning the Monte Carlo title last week. Two-time Barcelona runner-up Tsitsipas is the highest-ranked player in the tournament this week and he’s certainly fueled to finally claim his maiden title at the tournament.
World number 5 Tsitsipas needs stronger results as he aims to reach world number 1 this year. “I have a surface that I could adapt to more easily than other surfaces and we know which one it is,” Tsitsipas said of his recent performance on clay.
“My goal since I realized that… is if I can score points [on] as much as I can on this surface and really focus a little more on the other surfaces, I can really have a great year, maybe even finish among the two best tennis players at the end of the season”.