ATP Cordoba Day 3 Predictions Including Sebastian Baez vs Luciano Darderi

Sebastian Baez a champion on the ATP Challenger Tour.

The grind of the Golden Swing is underway with the ATP event in Cordoba kicking off proceedings. It doesn’t get much grittier than the conditions here with every final in the event’s four year history having gone to a deciding set. Which clay-courters will start off their South American swing looking the freshest?

ATP Cordoba Day 3 Predictions

Joao Sousa vs Tomas Martin Etcheverry

Head-to-head: First meeting

At first glance, Tomas Martin Etcheverry’s form has been far superior to tour stalwart Joao Sousa’s. On further scrutiny however, Etcheverry’s matches have been almost exclusively at clay-court Challengers whilst Sousa was fighting on ATP hard-courts for the majority of 2022. When the Portuguese did move to his preferred surface, he wound up winning in Pune and reached the final in Geneva, two of only seven clay-court events he played last year.

Frankly, Sousa’s still got it despite his ranking, making this no mean feat for the big-hitting Argentinian. It should be close but we’ll give the slight edge to the veteran.
Prediction: Sousa in 3

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Hugo Dellien vs Pedro Cachin

Head-to-head: Cachin 3-2 Dellien (all levels)

Thrust into the hard-courts of the pro circuit by his fantastic run of Challengers last year, Pedro Cachin actually did a pretty good job of holding his own. He managed to make it to the third-round of the US Open and put up a good fight against players like Norrie, Murray and Carreno Busta on the surface. It all stems from Cachin’s forehand which is easily worthy of the top 100.

Hugo Dellien is notoriously more of a grinder than his opponent possessing a relatively very weak serve for a professional player. He makes up for it from the back of the court but, given his absence from the latter half of last year and the power of his opponent, we’re not sure he will be able to hold his own here.
Prediction: Cachin in 2

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Facundo Bagnis vs Marco Cecchinato

Head-to-head: Bagnis 3-0 Cecchinato (all levels)

Marco Cecchinato knows what’s best for him. After losing in the Phoenix Challenger last March, the Italian played 28 consecutive clay-court tournaments going into the hard-courts of Pune this year. Winning breeds winning and ten consecutive losses to start 2022 quickly turned into titles and semifinals at Challenger level.

His opponent Facundo Bagnis is in much the same kind of form, two of the best on clay at Challenger level at the moment. If there was a match-up issue that could bother Cecchinato however, it’s Bagnis’s ability to spin high into the Cecchinato one-hander. We don’t underrate the form that brought Cecchinato into the main draw here but this small difference could be all it takes to decide a winner.
Prediction: Bagnis in 3

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Tomas Barrios Vera vs Bernabe Zapata Miralles

Head-to-head: Barrios Vera 1-0 Zapata Miralles

This is a tough call between two players that have both won exactly 62% of the clay-court matches they’ve played throughout their career. Unsurprisingly their one and only meeting in Biella was won 7-5 in the third set.

The only thing to separate the two is the far higher scalps Zapata Miralles has been able to amass throughout his career, beating Fritz, Isner, Rune and Fognini on the red dirt. The Spaniard has the higher ceiling which is enough for us to pick him to pip Barrios Vera to the finishing line.
Prediction: Zapata Miralles in 3

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Sebastian Baez vs Luciano Darderi

Head-to-head: First meeting

Sebastian Baez’s losing streak is starting to gain notoriety having lost 17 of his last 18 matches. Despite playing like a deity from the baseline, his serve is undoubtedly still too weak to cut it on a hard-court. Clay is an absolute must for him to gain any kind of momentum.

This is the first match in months he goes into as the favourite. Italian qualifier Luciano Darderi took down some big names in Hanfmann and Gaston but they’re a different ball game to Baez. The Argentinian is too solid to let a run of bad losses get to his head and should get a much-needed win.
Prediction: Baez in 2

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