Fabio Fognini managed to shock not only Rafa Nadal but the Monte Carlo Masters tennis community when he denied the Spaniard a 12th title in the Principality last week. Surely lightening won’t strike twice at the Barcelona Open where Nadal is hunting down a 12th title? Form Labs will bring you some betting tips each day from Catalan city so don’t forget to come back and see where the opportunities are.
Daniil Medvedev v Nicolas Jarry
We’re into the quarter-finals of Barcelona and with only three seeded players left in the draw, we’ve already had our fair share of upsets. However, we don’t expect this matchup to join that pile, as Daniil Medvedev has really impressed us over the last month on the clay courts. Having originally opposed him at Monte-Carlo due to his inexperience on the surface, he reached the semis there, beating the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic and has been brilliant again this week.
He’ll face Nicolas Jarry, who is fortunate to have even made it this far having lost to Marcel Granollers in qualifying, only to enter the draw as a lucky loser where he turned the form around to beat the same Spanish opponent in the first round. The Chilean has lost eight of his 13 main tour matches this year, with this tournament the first time he’s managed back-to-back victories this season and although he beat Sacha Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov in his last two rounds, that’s hardly surprising given the form of those players of late. Not to mention, he’s scraped through each of his three matches here in three setters, the latest two decided on a tie-break, so fatigue is likely to play a part and Medvedev is by far the classier opponent.
Roberto Carballes Baena v Kei Nishikori
Despite winning just half of his 10 matches since retiring from the Australian Open, Nishikori still looked a little over-priced at 20/1 for the start of this tournament, and that’s proved to be the case. Indeed, he may have fallen at the first hurdle in Monte-Carlo, but it is this tournament that has brought him so much success over the years, winning 20 of his 23 matches to date as he’s reached three finals, lifting the title twice. In fact, the only man to beat him here since 2014 has been Rafael Nadal, as he’s won 16 of his 17 matches with only Roberto Bautista Agut (twice) being able to even take a set off him across those victories, and so we can’t see the 104th ranked Roberto Carballes Baena causing him too many problems.
The Spaniard has recorded back-to-back victories just once this season, while having lost to Diego Schwartzman in straight sets in qualification, he’s also fortunate to even still be in the draw as a lucky loser. Indeed, the draw has been kind to him, having beaten 276th ranked Nicola Kuhn and 48th Christian Garin so far. He’s lost four of his five main tour quarters since 2016, with his only one this year seeing Marco Cecchinato cruise past him in straight sets and we’d be surprised to not see a repeat of that.
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