BARCELONA, April 21, 2018
The 66th edition of the Barcelona Banc Sabadell, Trofeo Conde de Godo, kicked off on Saturday with the qualifying. The top five seeds advanced to the second round.
No. 1 favourite Bjorn Fratangelo defeated Alessandro Giannessi of Italy 7-5, 6-4. The World No. 107 from the United States sent down six aces, winning 54 per cent of his first service points to seal victory in one hour and 27 minutes.
Next up for Fratangelo will be red-hot Spaniard Pablo Andújar. The 32-year-old continued his great run of form, cruising past compatriot Inigo Cervantes 6-1, 6-3 in one hour and 11 minutes. Andújar arrived in Barcelona after clinching two titles in the last two weeks. He had lifted the ATP Challenger trophy of the Ferrero Challenger Open followed by his triumph at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech.
Ilva Ivashka beat Frenchman Kenny de Schepper 6-3, 6-3. The No. 2 seed from Belarus saved all three break points he faced, capitalizing on three of his own chances to prevail in one hour and 27 minutes. Ivashka will next take on Austrian veteran Jürgen Melzer.
No. 3 seed Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil edged past Egor Gerasimov from Belarus 6-4, 6-2 to face Jozef Kovalik from Slovakia next. He will be joined in the second round of the qualifying by fourth seed Martin Klizan and Russia’s Alexey Vatutin.
During the day, the tournament’s main draw ceremony took place with Feliciano López and tournament director Albert Costa attending the event. World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, Kei Nishikori and Novak Djokovic are all in the same quarter.
The tournament has been staged at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona-1899, the oldest Spanish tennis club, since 1953. The ATP World Tour 500 clay-court tournament is one of the most important events in Spanish tennis and on the Barcelona social calendar. Spaniards have won 13 of the past 15 editions, including a record 10 victories for Rafael Nadal.
Photo Gallery (by Brigitte Urban)