ATP Barcelona is around the corner. Nothing can be more daunting than playing on Rafael Nadal court when the Spaniard is there.
Nadal will be looking to win the title for a 12th time as the leader of the draw and of course the best clay court player this game has ever seen.
Dominic Thiem is the apprentice to Nadal and is looking sharper and we’re in that period of waiting to him take that next step and of course he made the final of Roland Garros last year.
Stefanos Tsitsipas made a name for himself here last year and will be hoping to back it up again going one better and maybe winning the title.
Other names in the chasing pack include; Karen Khachanov who has not really done much since winning in Paris at the end of last year, the impressive and underrated Daniil Medvedev as well as Frances Tiafoe and the Canadians Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Point to Prove
Out of the three players I have chosen for this segment I feel like two of them have more of a point to prove than others.
Kei Nishikori didn’t look sharp at all in Monte Carlo, his performance was laboured and for someone who is good on clay it was a bad turn out as he just seemed to camp on the baseline and was chasing lost causes.
No one has had it tougher than David Goffin. The Belgian gets struck with unusual injuries time and time again and finding some rhythm has been tough for him. He is a talented player and his coach has said he needs to look at a more attacking style so hopefully we can see this on the clay.
Dimitrov did look good in Monte Carlo but I do feel like there is something to prove still. He impressed in his wins but I’m still waiting for that spark, he showed it against Nadal especially in the first set but I still feel like we need to see it on a consistent basis over the next few weeks when the tournaments come thick and fast.