The remainder of Round 1 will be completed on Day 2 of action on the clay of the ATP Cordoba Open. There are ten matches on the courts in Argentina, and we preview four of them in this article.
ATP Cordoba Open Day 2 Predictions
Hugo Dellien vs Marco Cecchinato
Head-to-Head Record: Dellien 1-0 Cecchinato
There really isn’t a piece of me that is looking forward to this match. Both players come into this seemingly scratching around for form. Nine defeats from ten first-round matches between them really does illustrate the current form problems, but at least both men are playing on their favorite surface.
They met in Santiago almost exactly a year ago, and it was the Bolivian who came out on top that day in a three-set battle. It really wouldn’t be a surprise to see a reprise of that type of match. However, on this occasion, I favor Cecchinato to scrape through. He took a set from Mackenzie McDonald in Australia on a surface that really didn’t suit him and competed very closely with Marton Fucscovics on those quick courts too. This is a level above a man who won only two games against Sebastian Baez in the Concepcion Challenger last week.
Prediction: Cecchinato in 3
Thiago Monteiro vs Joao Menezes
Head-to-Head Record: First meeting
This all-Brazilian clash could be fairly one-sided. Despite being from the same country and only two years apart in age they have never played a professional match against each other. The main reason for this being that Monteiro has tended to ply his trade in a higher bracket of quality than Menezes.
Both men would class themselves as clay courters but Monteiro showed at the beginning of the season that he is able to play on hard as well. That recent run to the semifinal in Melbourne shows that he is in good form and the most likely victor here.
Prediction: Monteiro in 2
Roberto Carballes Baena vs Joao Sousa
Head-to-Head Record: Carballes Baena 2-0 Sousa
There is a lot of form lines pointing towards Carballes Baena in this match-up. Despite there only being two ranking places between the pair (#96 vs #98 respectively) there are big differences in almost every other category.
The Spaniard has beaten Sousa in both previous meetings, has a good recent record in South America and also on clay, having won four of his last five in both situations. Meanwhile, the Portuguese has lost his last 11 first-round matches, a run stretching back to October 2019. Whilst that run will surely be broken soon it would appear that Carballes Baena has a game consistent enough to make the Portuguese work to earn the victory. It is doubtful that Sousa’s confidence is there right now to be able to accomplish this.
Prediction: Carballes Baena in 2
Dominik Koepfer vs Federico Coria
Head-to-Head Record: First meeting
The left-handed German is no mug on clay. He carries a 60% win ratio (including qualifying) on the dirt since 2019, but he comes into this match in poor form. Koepfer has lost four of his last five matches, albeit his last loss was to Dominic Thiem.
The fact that Koepfer is left-handed could be key here though. Coria has a poor record against southpaws, as well as a surprisingly poor record at home in Argentina. He has lost his last four matches at home, including in the first round in Cordoba last year.
This match may well go the distance but I expect Koepfer to be able to take advantage of the patterns of play that hurt Coria against left-handers and prevail at the death.
Prediction: Koepfer in 3
Main Photo from Getty.