Andy Murray is the top-seed at the ATP event in Barcelona after he accepted a late wild card into the draw following his early exit in the Monte Carlo Masters.
Murray is looking for more time on the clay ahead of next month’s French Open and will hope to go deep into the Barcelona Open.
Murray has been made second-favourite at 9/2 to win at the Real Club de Tenis, although home favourite Rafa Nadal is odds-on to win at 4/5.
Nine-time champion Nadal is going for his tenth crown in Catalunya, but it is a strong field with world number 9 Dominic Thiem and Monte Carlo semi-finalist David Goffin going for glory.
If all goes according to plan – Nadal and Murray would face each other in the final.
— BcnOpen BancSabadell (@bcnopenbs) April 24, 2017
British hopes Kyle Edmond and Dan Evans have both made it into the second round, when the ‘big boys’ come into the draw.
Murray – whose enjoyed a couple of years schooling in Barcelona during his formative years – is delighted to be back for the first time since 2012.
“I was here in Barcelona for two years and I loved it. It was the first time that I was away from my family home and even though it was hard, it was the first time I’d tasted independence. I would say that they were two of the best years of my life,” he said,
“I haven’t been here since 2012, a lot has happened since then. I have great memories, not only from training and living here, but also because I played my first professional match on one of these courts and I remember it well.”
We spoke to BetVictor’s Jack Milner ahead of the start of the tournament in Barcelona.
“We are ducking Rafa on home soil with BetVictor making him the 4/5 home favourite to win the ATP in Barcelona, and are happy to lay Andy Murray, we are top price 9/2 for him to kick-start his season with success in Spain,” he told TheGamblingTimes.com.