Second round matchups commence on day 3 of the ATP 250 level Argentina Open in Buenos Aires. A couple of the top seeds will begin their campaigns on day 3 after receiving opening round byes. The top seeded Casper Ruud returns to the tour after an unfortunate Australian summer whilst the third seeded Lorenzo Sonego faces local rising star Sebastian Baez.
ATP Buenos Aires Day 3 Predictions
Dusan Lajovic vs Federico Coria
H2H: First meeting.
Dusan Lajovic was extremely lucky to survive his opening round match in Buenos Aires against Benoit Paire. The fifth seed looked gone when Paire served for the match at 5-4 in the third set and led 40-0. Three match points slipped by for Paire, the last of which was an easy smash missed long. The Serb will look to make the most of this lucky break by reaching his first quarterfinal since Umag last year. Meanwhile, Federico Coria thrilled his home crowd with a 6-1 1-6 6-3 win over Pablo Cuevas and will be playing to reach his first tour level quarterfinal since Belgrade nine months ago.
The fact that Lajovic hasn’t been in the best of form in recent times gives Coria a decent chance, especially in Argentina. Nevertheless, I’ll side with Lajovic here. Lajovic has had far more success at this level for a reason, he is generally the better player. Expect Lajovic to play with a bit more freedom given his lucky escape in the previous round.
Prediction: Lajovic in 3
Thiago Monteiro vs Fernando Verdasco
An interesting matchup between a pair of lefties that love to dominate with their forehands. Verdasco claimed one of his better tour level wins in recent times in the first round in Buenos Aires when he beat Hugo Dellien 6-4 3-6 6-1. Monteiro recorded an impressive win of his own in the first round as he defeated last week’s Cordoba champion Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3 6-3.
Back-to-back tour level victories have been rarity for Verdasco over the last couple of year, there’s no doubt that he is well beyond his prime. Monteiro on the other hand is in his prime and should be competent enough in these conditions to get the win.
Prediction: Monteiro in 3
Casper Ruud vs Roberto Carballes Baena
H2H: Ruud 5-1.
Casper Ruud makes his return to the tour after an injury-interrupted start to the season. Ruud rolled his ankle before his opening round match at the Australian Open and was forced to withdraw from the event. It remains to be seen what type of level Ruud will bring to the Golden Swing, one would assume he will be extremely dangerous after his brilliant clay court record in 2021.
Ruud has dominated Carballes Baena in the past and is unlikely to have many problems in his Buenos Aires opener. Ruud has won the last three matches between the pair in straight sets, including a 6-1 6-2 win at Indian Wells last year in their latest meeting. It might take Ruud a couple of games to get into the groove in his first clay court match of the season, otherwise he is a class above Carballes Baena in all departments and should win easily.
Prediction: Ruud in 2
Lorenzo Sonego vs Sebastian Baez
H2H: Sonego 1-0.
Sonego easily defeated Baez 6-2 6-3 on the hard courts in Sydney last month in what was the first meeting between the pair. Expect Baez to put up far greater resistance in Buenos Aires on Wednesday with the crowd on his side and on his favourite surface. Baez made a strong start to his Buenos Aires campaign with a 7-6 6-3 win over fellow rising star Holger Rune and will be keen to make it back-to-back quarterfinals having reached the final eight in Cordoba last week.
This matchup features two players with explosive firepower. Baez is arguably the more disciplined of the pair and better suited to the conditions, especially since this match will be played at night in heavy conditions. I’ll give the slight edge to the Argentine.
Prediction: Baez in 3