BARCELONA, April 22, 2017
The 2017 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell kicked off with the official main draw ceremony at the Fan Corner of the Real Club Tennis Barcelona on Saturday.
The 16 seeds will have a bye in the first round of the ATP 500 event. World No.1 Andy Murray from Great Britain, who accepted a wild card, awaits the winner of the encounter between Austalia’s Bernard Tomic and Dustin Brown of Germany.
Two time champion and actual second seed Kei Nishikori of Japan has been forced to pull out of the tournament with a wrist injury. “I am sorry to have to withdraw from the Barcelona Open. It is one of my favourite tournaments and I hae very good memories of the past years,” said Nishikori, who will fly to Florida the same day. “Unfortunately, my right wrist has not recovered enough to play this week. I will go with my team and work on getting back on the tour as quick as possible.”
All eyes, however, will be on local favourite Rafael Nadal, who will be aiming for his 10th title in Barcelona. The 30-year-old from Mallorca will open his title bid on Wednesday against either Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil or Argentine Renzo Olivo. Nadal could meet David Ferrer in the third round and Germany’s youngster Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals.
“It’s a spectacular draw. Wherever you look you see first class player. The truth is that we have an extraordinary tournament. From the beginning all the matches will be very competitive and I am sure that the spectators will appreciate it,” tournament director Albert Costa said after the draw.
Costa is convinced that “Barcelona will see the best tennis in the world” and has wished best of luck to all players. “We’re going to enjoy it a lot,” the former French Open champion told.
The sentimental match of the opening day will be the one between Albert Montañés, who will announce tomorrow his retirement to professional tennis, and fellow Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-López.