Fixture: (2) Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Jaume Munar
Date: 21 April 2021
Tournament: Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell 2021
Round: Second round (Round of 32)
Venue: Barcelona, Spain
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Red Clay
Prize money: €1,565,480
Match timing: Not before 12.30 pm local time, 4 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Jaume Munar preview
Fresh off his first Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo, Stefanos Tsitsipas is one of the top contenders for the Barcelona trophy this week.
Tsitsipas has been one of the most consistent players of 2021. He started off by reaching the semifinals at the Australian Open, before going on to make the semis in Rotterdam, the final in Acapulco, and the quarters in Miami.
The Greek has already defeated the likes of Rafael Nadal, Andrey Rublev, Roberto Bautista Agut and Kei Nishikori this year, and would no doubt be brimming with confidence. However, he faces a potentially tricky second-round match on Wednesday, against the in-form Jaume Munar.
Munar is one of the players that decided to skip the Australian Open, which means he has plenty of claycourt match practice already. The Spaniard has reached the quarterfinals in Buenos Aires and the final in Marbella so far this year, while also finishing as the runner-up at the Challenger events in Antalya and Marbella.
Munar set up the second-round match against Tsitsipas here in Barcelona with a clinical straight-sets win over Thiago Monteiro on Monday.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Jaume Munar head-to-head
The match in Barcelona is the third between the two players on tour, and Stefanos Tsitsipas currently leads the head-to-head 2-0 over Jaume Munar.
Th Greek remarkably overturned a two-set deficit against Munar in the first round at Roland Garros last year, winning the match 4-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 on his way to the semifinals. Tsitsipas also defeated the Spaniard in four sets at the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Jaume Munar prediciton
Given his superior ranking and recent form, Stefanos Tsitsipas is the overwhelming favorite for the second-round tie against Jaume Munar in Barcelona.
The Greek got his clay season off to a flier with his Monte Carlo run, and would be hoping to continue in the same vein at Barcelona. Tsitsipas' superb claycourt movement was on display all of last week, and he looked in complete control against all his opponents.
But as their first-round tie at Roland Garros last year would suggest, Munar is far from a pushover on clay. The Spaniard has a dogged, patient style of play which, when combined with his impressive defensive skills and movement, works pretty well on this surface.
Tsitsipas could be stretched on Wednesday, especially since Munar would be looking to latch on to any lapses in concentration. The Greek might also be in recovery mode after an emotionally draining week in Monte Carlo.
That said, if Tsitsipas is able to produce the kind of controlled aggression that he has for most of the year, he should be able to get through.
Prediction: Stefanos Tstsipas to win in three sets.