ATP Barcelona: Favourites advance on day three

Second round action continued at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell on Wednesday, including the 2016 tournament debuts of the two men who have accounted for ten of the last eleven titles. At the end of the day, the last sixteen men remained in the draw. Here’s what happened on day three in Barcelona.

Results

All eyes were on eight-time champion Rafael Nadal on Wednesday, as the top seed took to the court in an all-Spanish affair with Marcel Granollers. Nadal had the worst possible start, being broken in the opening game of the match, but he got his act together and dominated the remainder of the match in straight sets. Check out the full recap of that match here. Nadal will take on Albert Montanes in the round of sixteen. The Spanish veteran blew out fourteenth seed Joao Sousa with the loss of only four games 6-1, 6-3.

Rafael Nadal pumps his first during his second round win. Photo: Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images
Rafael Nadal pumps his first during his second round win. Photo: Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Two-time defending champion Kei Nishikori got his bid to join Nadal and Mats Wilander as the only men to win three straight Barcelona titles underway on Wednesday. The Japanese was barely challenged in his match, as he easily defeated Thiemo de Bakker 6-4, 6-2. Nishikori grabbed the lone break midway through the opening set, which would be enough for the early lead, before grabbing two more in the second set for the victory. The second seed dominated on break points, converting all three of his opportunities on de Bakker’s serve, while saving the only two break points he faced in the match.

Nadal was not the only Spanish seed in action on Wednesday. Seventh seed Feliciano Lopez, who is one of the few big-name Spaniards who has never reached the final in Barcelona, got his campaign underway with a straight sets win over Ivan Dodig. Despite not saving either break point he faced, Lopez managed to edge the Croatian in the first set tiebreak before finally getting the decisive break in the second set, eventually emerging victorious 7-6(5), 6-4.

Feliciano Lopez attacks the net during his win. Photo: Europa Press/Europa Press via Getty Images
Feliciano Lopez attacks the net during his win. Photo: Europa Press/Europa Press via Getty Images

The rest of the day was fairly disappointing for the home fans, as the remaining three Spanish men were all sent packing in straight sets. Inigo Cervantes fell to Andrey Kuznetsov, while Albert Ramos-Vinolas was beaten by clay-court specialist Pablo Cuevas. Lastly, Pablo Carreno Busta was blown out by tenth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, only managing to win three games.

In other action, teenage sensation Alexander Zverev upset fifteenth seed Tomaz Belluci in an epic three-setter lasting two-and-a-half hours. Fabio Fognini, the man who conquered Nadal here last year, roared back after dropping the opening set of his match to Mikhail Youzhny and dominating the final two sets two advance. Eighth seed Viktor Troicki topped Hungarian qualifier Marton Fucsovics in three sets, qualifier Radek Stepanek outlasted lucky loser Edouard Roger-Vasselin in three tight sets, while Malek Jaziri also bested a lucky loser, Renzo Olivo, in three sets.

All the remaining players will be in action tomorrow, bidding for positions in the quarterfinals.    

VAVEL Logo