Alcaraz and Munar have been very complimentary of one another in the past.

Tennis fans will be treated to an exciting clay-court battle on Friday, when world No. 101 Jaume Munar takes on world No. 11 Carlos Alcaraz at the Barcelona Open. While Alcaraz might be one of the hottest players on the planet at the moment, Munar is one of the game’s best young clay-court talents. With that in mind, this should be a competitive match-up, even if the oddsmakers have Alcaraz pegged as a -500 favorite.

Alcaraz has had some trouble carrying over his superb play from Indian Wells and Miami over to the dirt. After making the finals in the desert and winning a title in Miami, the 18-year-old lost to world No. 37 Sebastian Korda in his first match in Monte-Carlo, and he needed three sets to beat world No. 71 Soonwoo Kwon in his first outing in this tournament. That’s not exactly the most encouraging sign heading into a meeting with Munar, who is already 11-6 in clay-court matches this season. Munar also happens to be coming off a pair of straight-set victories in Barcelona already, and one of those wins was against world No. 20 Nikoloz Basilashvili.

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Munar just knows how to work his way around the court on clay, and he’s going to try to make Alcaraz make some mistakes in this match. The 24-year-old knows that his opponent has a lot more talent than he does, but Munar might actually be the player that is more comfortable in these conditions. That has to count for something, and it probably has a lot to do with the fact that Munar has been just fine in his previous meetings with Alcaraz to this point.

The two Spaniards have actually split victories in their previous encounters, with Munar winning in straight sets when they met in Marbella back in October and Alcaraz winning in three sets in their most recent match-up, which came in February. Alcaraz has undoubtedly made huge strides since 2021, despite that not being a long time ago. With that, it’s probably best to look more at the February meeting as a direct comparison. But even then, Munar was able to win himself a set.

Even if the 24-year-old doesn’t ultimately win one in this match, it is hard to envision him not at least working deep into one of them. That would give Over bettors a really good chance of winning here. Munar has just looked much better than his opponent on clay early in this week, and it might take some time for Alcaraz to fully shake his hard-court tendencies before the French Open. The young phenom should ultimately pull this one out, but it really wouldn’t be too shocking if he were to have a lot of trouble here. Munar definitely feels like he has what it takes to win this match.

Line Call: Over 20.5 Games (-135)