Palmerbet Sports Team’s Best of the Day preview breaks down an intriguing first-round match-up at the ATP Barcelona between Tennys Sandgren and Malek Jaziri.
19:00 (AEST) @ Real Club de Tenis Barcelona
History: First meeting.
Tennys Sandgren opens his Barcelona Open campaign against Tunisian veteran Malek Jaziri, with both players carrying some solid 2018 form into the tournament.
Currently boasting a career-high No.47 ranking, Sandgren caught the tennis world’s attention – on and off the court – during his superb run to the Australian Open quarter-finals in January. It was the first time he’d been beyond the first round at a major.
After a few disappointing early exits at ATP events, the outspoken American made it all the way to the final of the Houston Open earlier this month, where he went down to compatriot Steve Johnson in three sets.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) April 15, 2018
— SI Tennis (@SI_Tennis) April 22, 2018
The 34-year-old Jaziri, who coincidentally has a career-best ranking of No.47 (in 2017) but currently sits at No.87, also turned heads at the Australian Open this year.
He outlasted Salvatore Caruso in a five-set thriller in the first round, before going down in another five-setter to Gilles Muller – a gallant effort in which he came from two-sets-to-love behind to force a decider.
Since then he has predominantly been toiling on the Challenger circuit but produced an excellent run to the semis at the Dubai Tennis Championships in early-March, rolling No.1 seed Grigor Dimitrov in the first round before eventually having his charge halted by Roberto Bautista Agut.
— ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) February 28, 2018
That giant-killing effort underlines Jaziri’s value as an outsider against the enigmatic Sandgren, and we think he looks the goods to advance in this one.