ATP Barcelona Open: Preview, odds, best bets

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Carlos Alcaraz is a favorite at the Barcelona Open
Carlos Alcaraz, of Spain, returns a shot against Jannik Sinner, of Italy, during a semifinal match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Barcelona Open kicks off on Monday at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona, which is the oldest Spanish tennis club. The ATP 500 clay-court tournament is a crucial tune-up before the Masters 1000 Madrid Open later this month and the French Open in just five weeks’ time. one of the most important events in Spanish tennis and on the Barcelona social calendar. 

The Barcelona Open is a 48-player draw with 16 seeds, all of which get byes straight into the second round. Rafael Nadal owns a record 12 trophies at this event, but this year’s top seed is world number two Carlos Alcaraz, who is also the defending champion but hasn’t competed in a tournament since losing to Jannik Sinner in the finals of the Masters 1000 Miami Open on March 20th. 

Before the Miami Open, Alcaraz was having a strong 2023 season, winning Indian Wells and also winning a title on clay in February in Buenos Aires before making the final in Rio de Janeiro soon after. So while he may be a bit rusty, he shouldn’t be counted out. 

He will have to pass some tough early tests if he wants to repeat his 2022 victory at the clay-court ATP 500. His fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut is a potential third-round opponent while fifth-seeded American Frances Tiafoe, fresh from winning his first-ever clay-court ATP Tour title in Houston, could meet Alcaraz in the quarter-finals. Tiafoe beat Alcaraz in straight sets in Barcelona in 2021, but Alcaraz got revenge in the semi-finals of the last U.S. Open. 

The rest of the field is littered with talent. Casper Ruud, a nine-time ATP tour title-winner on clay, is also in the top half of the draw and will open against an American, either Mackenzie McDonald or Ben Shelton. Sixth seed Karen Khachanov is a potential quarter-final opponent for Ruud as the Norwegian looks to bounce back from his third-round exit at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas headlines the bottom half of the draw, where the Greek will also look to rebound after losing in straight sets to American Taylor Fritz in the quarter-finals at the Montre-Carlo Masters. 


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Schedule for Barcelona Open:

  • Round 1 –  April 17, 2023
  • Round 2 –  April 19, 2023
  • Round 3 –  April 20, 2023
  • Quarterfinal –  April 21, 2023
  • Semifinal – April 22, 2023
  • Final –  April 23, 2023

How to Watch the Barcelona Open:

  • All matches can also be watched on the Tennis Channel or streamed on tennistream.com 

Jannik Sinner is a favorite at the Barcelona Open
Jannik Sinner, of Italy, returns a shot against Carlos Alcaraz, of Spain, during a semifinal match at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Best Bets for the Barcelona Open:

Carlos Alcaraz to win the tournament (-110)

Alcaraz is the favorite, and you’re not getting great odds here, but there’s a reason for that. The Spaniard should be able to easily reach the third round, where he will most likely take on 13th seed Roberto Bautista Agut. The younger player’s form should allow him to reach the Barcelona Open quarterfinals where his most likely opponent, fifth seed Frances Tiafoe, is more of a hard-court player. As a result, there’s a strong argument to be made that Alcaraz won’t really be challenged until the semi-finals, but it’s tough to bet on him given his recent injury history. 


Jannik Sinner to win the tournament (+400)

Jannik Sinner has been in terrific form lately, going 21-5 in 2023 to rise to 8th in the world. He comes in as a favorite in almost any tournament, but he also has two fairly manageable first matches against Diego Schwartzman and then, likely, 16th seed Yoshihito Nishioka. He should make it to the quarterfinals without much trouble and then would face seventh seed Cameron Norrie or ninth seed Lorenzo Musetti, who Sinner just beat. I think Sinner is a strong bet to make the finals and whether or not he wins depends on Alcaraz’s health. 


Casper Ruud to win the tournament (+1000)

Ruud has not played great tennis of late, going just 9-6 in 2023, so he will be eager to put on a good show at the Barcelona Open. While his recent form might not be appealing, he is 103-37 in his career on clay foir a .736 winning percentage. He’s as good as anybody on the surface and should easily make it to the third round, where he would most likely face 15th seed Francisco Cerundolo. Rudd is more than capable of beating the Argentine and should be able to reach the quarterfinals, where he will most likely take on two players who are more comfortable on other surfaces in sixth seed Karen Khachanov or 12th seed Dan Evans.

Given his odds and his success on clay, Ruud is one of my favorite bets at the Barcelona Open. 


Frances Tiafoe to win the tournament (+4000)

This is an incredibly long shot, but that’s why you’re getting these odds. Tiafoe is 19-5 in 2023 and has reached a career-high 11th in the world. He will have a tough Round of 16 showdown with Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, but the Spaniard has not been in great form of late, and then Tiafoe would be set to face Alcaraz in the Barcelona Open quarter-final. Your bet here is that Alcaraz still is not 100% and Tiafoe can take advantage; that would open up the field for the American to secure his second-ever win on clay. 



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Frances Tiafoe is a dark horse at the Barcelona Open
Frances Tiafoe celebrates a winner at the Clay Court Championships in Houston