Date: 5 April 2022
Tournament: Grand Prix Hassan II
Round: First round (Round of 32)
Venue: Marrakech, Morocco
Category: ATP 250
Prize money: €501,345
Live telecast: USA - Tennis TV
Albert Ramos-Vinolas vs Lorenzo Musetti preview
Fourth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas will clash with Italian youngster Lorenzo Musetti in the first round of the Grand Prix Hassan II on Tuesday.
After a disappointing first-round exit in Miami, Ramos-Vinolas will return to his favorite surface, clay. The Spaniard competed in the South American clay swing in February, winning his fourth career title at the Cordoba Open. But he couldn't make the most of his momentum as he lost early in his next two tournaments. Ramos-Vinolas concluded his clay swing by making the semifinals of the Chile Open.
The Spaniard has fond memories of the Grand Prix Hassan. He reached his maiden ATP final at this event 10 years ago, losing to Pablo Andujar. He will be hoping to recapture some of that form and make a deep run once again.
After a breakout season in 2021, Lorenzo Musetti has failed to make much progress this year. He started the year with consecutive opening-round losses at the Adelaide International and the Australian Open.
The Italian fared slightly better in his next two events, reaching the quarterfinals of the Maharashtra Open and the Rotterdam Open. He then lost to Novak Djokovic in the first round of the Dubai Tennis Championships.
Musetti's woes continued in the north American hardcourt swing as he suffered a a second-round exit in Indian Wells followed by a first-round loss in Miami.
But the 20-year-old enjoys playing on clay and will hope to kickstart his season in Morocco.
Albert Ramos-Vinolas vs Lorenzo Musetti head-to-head
Ramos-Vinolas leads 1-0 in the head-to-head. He won their only previous encounter at the 2021 Indian Wells Masters in straight sets.
Albert Ramos-Vinolas vs Lorenzo Musetti prediction
Ramos-Vinolas has already played several tournaments on clay over the past few weeks and will have the slight edge over Musetti, who has not competed on the surface this season.
Moreover, the Spaniard's biggest results have all come on the red dirt and he'll fancy his chances against a talented but inconsistent opponent in Musetti.
Musetti has scored wins over the likes of Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori on clay, so if he's able to summon that form, he could trouble the veteran Spaniard. The Italian, on his part, will look to dictate the play with his forehand. His one-handed backhand can land him in trouble on faster surfaces, but works quite well on clay.
Ramos-Vinolas, meanwhile, has a heavy top-spin forehand which he will use to move Musetti around the court. The Spaniard's serve is not the most powerful though and Musetti should be able to make inroads.
The Italian will also need to keep his own errors in check, as Ramos-Vinolas barely offers up any freebies. The Spaniard's consistency from the back of the court could make life difficult for Musetti.
If the Italian is able to summon his best tennis in the big moments, he might sneak away with the win, but as things stand, it's the Spaniard who's likely to emerge victorious.
Prediction: Albert Ramos-Vinolas to win in three sets.