Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain celebrates winning a game against Hubert Hurkacz of Poland during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Friday, April 1, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

  • In the absence of Rafael Nadal, fellow teen phenom Carlos Alcaraz is the biggest deal in Barcelona
  • Alcaraz will be the fourth teen to make the top 10 in the last 20 years, after Nadal, Djokovic and Murray
  • The 18-year-old remains the title favorite; we break down the Barcelona Open odds for the semifinals and make predictions

Despite his lack of experience in big clay-court events, Carlos Alcaraz came into Barcelona as the betting favorite, followed closely behind by No. 1 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

And after eliminating Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals Friday, who is going to stop him?

Schwartzman vs Carreño Busta Odds

Player Spread Moneyline Total
[6] Diego Schwartzman (ARG) -1.5 (-111) -128 O 22.5 (-105)
[8] Pablo Carreño Busta (ESP) +1.5 (-104) +100 U 22.5 (-125)

Odds as of April 22 at BetMGM

Schwartzman the Slight Favorite

One of the factors that may well come into play during Saturday’s semifinals is that all four participants had to play double-headers Thursday.

With Wednesday basically a washout, all had to win their third-round matches earlier in the day, before coming back later and win their quarterfinals.


A full slate of third-round and quarterfinal matches means the four Barcelona semifinalists Saturday will be short on fuel. (ATP Tour)

And with a couple of exceptions, none of the matches were routine.

And all of the quarterfinals went the distance.

Pablo Carreño Busta had by far the tougher day, with a three-setter against Lorenzo Sonego and a dramatic comeback win against No. 2 seed Casper Ruud of Norway later in the day.

He spent two hours, 42 minutes on court in the Sonego match, and just over three hours against Ruud.


Schwartzman vs Carreño Busta Head-to-Head

29 (Aug. 16, 1992) Age 30 (July 12, 1991)
Buenos Aires, Argentina Birthplace Gijon, Spain
5-7 Height 6-2
4 Career ATP Singles Titles 6
No. 8 (Oct. 12, 2020) Career High Ranking No. 10 (Sept. 11, 2017)
No. 15 Current Ranking No. 19
$11,758,986 Career Prize Money $13,073,763
19-8 2022 Won/Loss record 14-7
1 Career Head to Head 2

Carreño Busta has a slight edge over Diego Schwartzman in the head-to-head. But the key was a match exactly a year ago, in the Barcelona quarterfinals.

Conversely, Schwartzman spent a shade over two hours in each of his victories.

Schwartzman vs Carreño Busta Match History

Year Tournament Surface Score Winner
2021 Barcelona (QF) Outdoor Clay 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 Carreño Busta
2017 Vienna (R16) Indoor Hard 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 Schwartzman
2017 US Open (QF) Outdoor Hard 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 Carreño Busta

Rain Expected Early

Saturday’s weather is going to be better than Thursday.

Still, there’s a lot of rain expected in the area earlier in the day. That will slow down the clay court even more, making it the type of grinding match that almost universally favors Schwartzman.

Best Bet: Schwartzman in Three Sets (+333)

Alcaraz Looking for Crown In Barca

The teen phenom  flamed out early at Monte Carlo in the wake of his headline-making title at the Masters 1000 in Miami a week before. But he has reset beautifully.

And in facing Stefanos Tsitsipas for the second time in a month, he defeated him for the second time in a month.

Tsitsipas played through Sunday as he defended his title in Monte Carlo. Meanwhile, Alcaraz was out in his opening round, and came into Barcelona a lot fresher.

And there was…a lot going on.

If there was a takeaway, it’s that Alcaraz is no shrinking debutante violet.

Alcaraz vs De Minaur Odds

Player Spread Moneyline Total
[5] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) -5.5 (+100) -1000 O 19.5 (-125)
[10] Alex de Minaur (AUS) +5.5 (-143) +550 U 19.5 (-111)

A Very Young Top-10 debut

On Monday, he’ll be in the top 10. And there is a certain symmetry

It’s unlikely to be top of mind for him, though.

Alcaraz vs De Minaur Head-to-Head

18 (May 5, 2003) Age 23 (Feb. 17, 1999)
El Palmar, Murcia, Spain Birthplace Sydney, Australia
6-1 Height 6-0
3 Career ATP Singles Titles 5
No. 11 (April 4, 2022 Career High Ranking No. 15 (June 28, 2021)
No. 11 Current Ranking No. 25
$3,833,917 Career Prize Money $6,540,585
21-3 2022 Won/Loss record 9-7
2 Career Head to Head 2

De Minaur (Relatively) Well Rested

While all the drama was going on elsewhere, De Minaur skated. He won his third-round match after Lloyd Harris retired, having lost the first set 6-0.

And his three-set win over Cameron Norrie was relatively routine.

Given the overwhelming odds in Alcaraz’s favour to win the match, there are some side props that might provide better value.

A combination of De Minaur’s freshness and primo defence on what should be a slow court – and Alcaraz’s potential nerves – might prolong this a little.

Alcaraz should win in straight sets (-286). But it might take some work.

Best Bet: Over 19.5 Games (-125)

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