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ATP Cordoba Day 1 Predictions Including Roberto Carballes Baena vs Bernabe Zapata Miralles

Roberto Carballes Baena

As the ATP Tour transitions from the first Slam of the year, Cordoba, Argentina, is set to host the fifth edition of the Cordoba Open. This is the opening leg of the Golden Swing and a tournament where we typically see very high-level tennis from clay-court specialists. Albert Ramos-Vinolas will look to repeat as champion but will get tough tests from Argentines Diego Schwartzman, Francisco Cerundolo, and Sebastian Baez, among others. Day 1 in Cordoba features four Round 1 matches, including an all-Spanish encounter between Roberto Carballes Baena vs Bernabe Zapata Miralles. But who will advance?

ATP Cordoba Day 1 Predictions

Dusan Lajovic vs Juan Pablo Varillas

Head-to-Head: first meeting

Juan Pablo Varillas held a two sets to one lead over Alexander Zverev in the first round of the Australian Open. Although the German came back to win in five, Varillas should look at that match as a confidence booster as he looks to continue his ascent up the rankings.  Veteran Dusan Lajovic has always favored the clay and will look to use the Golden Swing to find some form after dropping his first two matches of 2023. Lajovic’s consistency from the ground should allow him to break through the Varillas backhand.
Prediction: Lajovic in 3

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Luciano Darderi vs Hugo Gaston

Head-to-Head: first meeting

After working his way through two rounds of qualifying, 20-year-old Luciano Darderi is set to play his first career Tour-level main draw match. The Italian has almost solely played clay-court events during his young career. He has reached five Challenger semifinals and one final. He gets a tough draw against feisty Frenchman Hugo Gaston. He recently fell out of the top 100 but seemed to find some form at the Challenger level to close out 2022. I believe Gaston’s experience will pay dividends against the young Italian in this match. Darderi has minimal professional experience against lefties.
Prediction: Gaston in 2

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Juan Manuel Cerundolo vs Pablo Andujar

Head-to-Head: first meeting

Argentine Juan Manuel Cerundolo has been a clay-court Challenger giant over the past two seasons. His one sliver of tour-level success happened in Cordoba when he won this event in 2021. Cerundolo will feel very comfortable on these courts. He is set to play Pablo Andujar in Round One. The veteran Spaniard is just 1-6 in his last seven matches and has seemingly lost his quickness around the court. I do not see how Andujar can break through the young and athletic Argentine in front of a pro-Cerundolo crowd.
Prediction: Cerundolo in 3

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Roberto Carballes Baena vs Bernabe Zapata Miralles

Head-to-Head: Carballes Baena 5-1 Zapata Miralles

Spaniards Roberto Carballes Baena and Bernabe Zapata Miralles know each other very well. They have met six previous times, with the older Carballes Baena winning five of those meetings. Neither player has gotten off to a strong start in 2023 a will relish the opportunity to advance in Cordoba. As he has done in their previous encounters, Carballes Baena should be able to push his compatriot around the court. I trust Carballes Baena in the bigger moments and believe his serve will hold up to find the finish line.
Prediction: Carballes Baena in 3

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