The ATP Buenos Aires is here! After an exciting week of tennis in Cordoba last week to kick off the Golden Swing, the ATP Tour clay court swing moves to Buenos Aires for another week of compelling matches. Who will win and who will fall short? I give my best guesses below!
ATP Buenos Aires Day 1 Predictions
Marco Cecchinato vs Laslo Djere
Head to Head: 2-1 Cecchinato
Marco Cecchinato picked up a first round win in Cordoba last week over Hugo Dellien, but didn’t put up much resistance in a quick defeat to Diego Schwartzman. Laslo Djere is playing his first match on clay of the season, but he must be desperate to get on the dirt, as he’s lost his last five hard court matches.
Cecchinato leads the head to head 2-1, but Djere won in straight sets in the Sardinia final last season. This is a tough match to call, as it’s Djere’s first clay court match, but I didn’t love what I saw from Cecchinato against Schwartzman. The Italian played a pretty meek match and Dellien is struggling, so I’m not sure how much stock to take in that performance. I’m going to trust that Djere has been working hard on his clay court game leading up to this tournament. Djere should be able to control the court with his serve and forehand and make Cecchinato play a lot of defense. Djere wins a tight one.
Prediction: Djere in 3
Dominik Koepfer vs Thiago Tirante
Head to Head: never played
Dominik Koepfer had a rough start to the Golden Swing, losing in straight sets to Federico Coria. Koepfer can play on clay, but was clearly not comfortable enough on the surface yet in 2021. Thiago Tirante is a rising star in men’s tennis. He made his first Challenger final late last season and has a huge forehand. It will be interesting to see how he deals with Koepfer’s lefty game.
These two have never played before. Koepfer is the more experienced player, but it remains to be seen if his game will be ready for hard. He will need to try to get in as many cross-court exchanges with his forehand as possible, as Tirante’s backhand is much worse than his forehand. Tirante is going to be as tough player to face soon, but I like how the point patterns should go in this match for Koepfer and he should feel a lot more comfortable on the dirt after last week. I don’t think that Tirante’s serve or backhand will hold up enough for him to win this match.
Prediction: Koepfer in 3
Pablo Andujar vs Juan Ignacio Londero
Head to Head: 1-0 Londero
Pablo Andujar is starting off his clay court season in Buenos Aires. Andujar hasn’t played on the dirt yet this season, but is known for his crafty clay court game. Juan Ignacio Londero was up a set on Albert Ramos in his first round match in Cordoba, but fell short in three sets. Londero also enjoys the clay, so it will be interesting to see how this one plays out.
Londero leads the head to head 1-0, having beaten Andujar in a clay court Challenger a few years ago. Londero’s game is based on his huge, heavy forehand, and the Argentinian often will try to run around his backhands. Andujar understands clay court tennis very well and plays a solid baseline game. He hasn’t played on clay yet this year, but generally is the better clay court player, which makes this one tough to call. Ultimately, I think Londero is a little limited on the backhand side, and I expect Andujar to exploit that. Andujar wins a close match.
Prediction: Andujar in 3
Roberto Carballes Baena vs Thiago Monteiro
Head to Head: 5-0 Monteiro
Roberto Carballes Baena was probably upset to see a first round matchup with Thiago Monteiro here. The Spainard lost in straight sets to Monteiro last week and has only won two sets in their five meetings. Carballes Baena’s consistency and depth will need to be top-notch to win this one.
Monteiro plays a classic lefty clay-court game. He tries to be aggressive with his serve and forehand and does a good job hitting his spots. His ability to get the ball deep and high into the Carballes Baena backhand is a huge reason he’s had so much success in the head to head. I don’t see anything changing here in this one. Monteiro wins in a straightforward match.
Prediction: Monteiro in 2
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