ATP Barcelona Tips, Analysis & Preview | Our Picks For This Week’s Tennis

Andy Watson in Tennis Betting Tips 28 Apr 2023

Carlos Alcaraz makes his European clay court entrance at this event after withdrawing from Monte-Carlo a few days before the tournament. Can he defend his title here?

I believe that the answer to that question will ultimately be decided by the young Spaniard’s health. A fully-fit Alcaraz is a very tough test on clay, as results from 2021, and indeed the South American clay court Golden Swing earlier this year suggest.

The presence of Alcaraz, and the availability of a couple of interesting ATP250 tournaments this week in Munich and Banja Luka, appears to have thinned out the field somewhat. The confident clay-courters are here though in Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud, and Jannik Sinner.

There are some interesting players in the rest of the field, but, as the analysis will bear out, it is easy to pick holes in those players. Most of the top seeds played in Barcelona last year, Alcaraz won of course, but elsewhere only Alex De Minaur made it as far as the semi-finals.

ATP Barcelona Betting Tips

Carlos Alcaraz 2.5pt @ 11/10 at BetVictor

Cameron Norrie 0.25pt EW @ 33/1 at Bet365

Karen Khachanov to win Quarter 2 1pt @ 7/2 at Bet365

Event In Focus: ATP Barcelona

The clay court swing brings a fresh perspective to the analysis as we get to dig into some clay court numbers for the key protagonists on tour. It goes without saying that playing on clay is a very different feel to playing on the hard courts so it is important to dig a little deeper and combine current form with historic clay form, as most top players won’t have played on the surface since last year’s French Open.

Ranking Analysis

It is interesting that the Clay ELO score provided by www.tennisabstract,com has Carlos Alcaraz ranked only as the third best clay court player of the moment. This is possibly because he has not taken on and defeated players with a much higher ELO score than himself for some time compared to Tsitsipas and Ruud, who both reached further than Alcaraz in the 2022 French Open. The way that ELO is calculated for different surfaces is addressed in this blog piece on Tennis Abstract.

Further down the list we should note that players such as Nicolas Jarry, Grigor Dimitrov, and Jaume Munar have much higher clay court rankings than their official ATP ranking. This could lead us to pick up some potential value in the markets.

2023 ATP Tour Form

Carlos Alcaraz is leading the way in the current season’s form. He has only played four tournaments so far this year, two South American clay events and then Indian Wells and Miami, but has clearly performed at an elite level in those events.

Jannik Sinner is the other standout player in the field for his 2023 data. He has played a lot of tennis, far more than anyone else here, and one has to wonder at what point will the Italian take a break or when will he need a break? His level is such that he is reaching the last stages of every tournament he enters so the cycle is never ending for him at the moment.

Frances Tiafoe, Karen Khachanov, and Alex De Minaur, are having sneaky good starts to the 2023 season as well. Again, Nicolas Jarry is an eye-catcher down at the bottom of the analysis.

Career Clay Court Analysis

Without wanting to sound like a broken record, it is Alcaraz who tops the data for career clay court win percentage and games won. He is obviously still relatively inexperienced on the tour, but has played a lot of clay court matches because of how well he has done in the tournaments.

Casper Ruud is the man in the field with the most wins on clay, and his data proves that he is of an elite level on the surface, over 110 usually indicates this. Stefanos Tsitsipas is the other proven elite clay courter in the field, with Sinner just in behind.

Of the other players, Lorenzo Musetti is building a nice profile. Over 60% match wins and close to 105% games won is a good start on the main tour for the Italian. Grigor Dimitrov is, perhaps surprisingly, a top drawer clay court player.

It is also fairly surprising, given his good record in this event, that Alex De Minaur has such a poor clay court history. Yoshihito Nishioka, Dan Evans, and Frances Tiafoe are the others with negative games won records on clay. Yibing Wu will have his first taste of ATP clay court tennis here.

Form & Barcelona Record

Evans and Roberto Bautista Agut arrive here dreadfully out-of-form, having won only 2 of their last 10 on tour. Evans also has never progressed into this tournament.

Frances Tiafoe is a form player though having arrived here off the back of a tournament win in Houston. The conditions will be very different here though and despite playing in the last three tournaments, Tiafoe hasn’t progressed to the quarterfinals before.

Tsitsipas has a good Barcelona record, a former finalist. Sinner reached the semi-finals on his only previous visit, and he is a much better player now than he was then. Cameron Norrie could be one to watch as he continues his improvement and with two quarter-final visits already under his belt.

ATP Barcelona Draw

Barcelona has a 16-seed, 48-man draw. The top 16 seeds will be given a bye into the second round.

ATP Barcelona Betting Tips

Carlos Alcaraz 2.5pt @ 11/10 at BetVictor

If the Spaniard is fully fit then I think he wins this fairly comfortably. Certainly I see very little in the top half of the draw to trouble the talented teen and though there has to be a slight concern about his physicality I am going to take it as read that he is fit enough to go all the way here.

Cameron Norrie 0.25pt EW @ 33/1 at Bet365

In the opposite half of the draw to Alcaraz there are a number of options to try and take the each way money. Jannik Sinner is the obvious candidate, but as eluded to above, is the amount of tennis he is playing going to take it’s toll soon? Either way, the Italian is an eighth of the price of our selection, Cam Norrie.

As mentioned above, his year-to-date figures and his career clay court figures are good. What swayed me to make a bet was Norrie’s good record at the tournament. If he can make the battles in the latter stages of the tournament into physical battles then I back him to win his fair share of points and possibly cause a couple of upsets.

Karen Khachanov to win Quarter 2 1pt @ 7/2 at Bet365

One for the side markets here. I have been unconvinced by Casper Ruud in 2023 and Karen Khachanov is a good price, given his clay court and 2023 data, to take Ruud on for the 2nd Quarter with.

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