After meeting for the first time last year in Barcelona, world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and Albert Ramos will meet once again at the tournament, this time in the second round. Ramos will be looking to put on a better performance than his previous contest against Rafa, where he lost 3-6, 0-6 in the quarter-final round.
Nadal made a magnificent comeback in 2013, winning 2 Grand Slam titles and 5 Masters 1000 titles, has only managed two title wins so far this season, Doha and Rio de Janeiro. Apart from that, he lost the Australian Open final to Stanislas Wawrinka, the third round at Indian Wells, and runner-up in Miami. His most recent loss was a particularly surprising one, as he was ousted in the quarter-final round of the Monte Carlo Masters. He will be looking to rebound and regain his confidence this week in Barcelona, where he has not lost since 2003, and holds a dominant 40-1 record with eight consecutive titles.
Albert Ramos dropped out of the top 100 for the first time since June 2011 earlier this month. He has only reached one quarterfinal so far this season, in Buenos Aires where he lost 2-6, 1-6 to eventual champion David Ferrer. To begin his week in Barcelona, Ramos beat Nikolay Davydenko of Russia 6-4, 6-4 to set up Wednesday’s second-round match against the defending champion.
”Rafa is a very difficult rival, he’s going to play with a lot of intensity as he’s coming off a surprise loss, so I’m sure he’ll be motivated,” said Ramos, ranked 103rd. ”It’s going to be tough. I need him to have a bad day and myself a great one to beat him.”
This marks the second time these two competitors meet on the professional tour, with Nadal leading the series 1-0. Their last meeting took place at this event last year, where Nadal earned the dominant 6-3, 6-0 win en route to his eighth title in Barcelona. While the Spaniard’s confidence has been the topic of conversation as of late, it is unlikely that it will impact him tomorrow afternoon. We will likely see a vintage Nadal performance and a snappy straight sets performance.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal in Straight Sets