This will be the first time these two players will play against each other.
Feliciano Lopez knows this tournament well. He has already played it 19 times between 1998 and 2019. He has been eliminated 5 times, and his best performance is a 1/4 final in 2012 and 2014.
Not surprisingly, this is the first time that Lorenzo Musetti will participate in this ATP 500 in Barcelona.
This match is very interesting, and far from easy to predict.
On paper, Lorenzo Musetti is ultra favorite since his opponent is not young anymore and he doesn’t have the ability to play long rallies. He tends to slow down the game and let his opponents take the initiative first.
I still want to believe in a Spanish victory here. Indeed, in his last match against Evans, Lorenzo Musetti showed some weaknesses that his opponent could exploit. The Italian was very much bothered by the British’s rise to the net (either right after the serve or in the game). Feliciano Lopez has also mastered this strategy and this could bring him many points.
Also, Feliciano Lopez knows how to break the rhythm (notably via slices) and to go and find very sexy zones. This could well disturb the young Italian and make him generate some frustrating faults.
Finally, Feliciano Lopez showed in Marbella that he hasn’t lost any of his excellent serve. He should not give up his games so easily and this could well allow him to get into Musetti’s head. Musetti can sometimes lack patience and that could work against him in this match.
This is obviously a very risky prediction given that Lorenzo Musetti has what it takes to win against Feliciano Lopez. Nevertheless, the Spanish has shown that he still has the ability to play good tennis. I expect him to show it again in front of his home crowd.
Also, Lorenzo Musetti has yet to win a match in an ATP tournament against a left-hander (one loss, to Koepfer last year in Rome). Obviously, this statistic is not reliable enough to be taken into account in this Prediction.
Prediction: Feliciano Lopez wins