The second ATP clay court event of 2023 kicks off on Monday in Buenos Aires. There are no seeds in action day one, but home fans will enjoy seeing two Argentine players in Pedro Cachin and Guido Pella. The biggest name in action is Fabio Fognini who is not the elite player he was in the past but is always fun and exciting to watch. Most of the competitors are full clay court specialists looking to earn points and match fitness on their best surface before the clay season fully kicks off. All four of the opening day matches are previewed below!
ATP Buenos Aires Day 1 Predictions
Pedro Martinez vs Bernabe Zapata Miralles
Head-to-head: 6-4 Martinez
Though the two Spaniards are very familiar with each other, just three of their meetings have come above Futures Level and only one at tour-level. That was one by Zapata Miralles in Paris at the end of last year. That win eventually led into a four match losing streak for Zapata Miralles that he finally snapped in Cordoba last week. Martinez struggled in Cordoba but has shown good flashes and certainly has plenty of talent. These two players play similar games and have had similar results of late, but Martinez is a bit more polished of a player so he will have a slight edge in a close match.
Prediction: Martinez in 3
Thiago Monteiro vs Pedro Cachin
Monteiro is a strong clay courter playing some of his best tennis at the age of 28. He captured two Challenger titles last year on clay, and broke into the top-70 for the first time. Cachin, unlike Monteiro, spent a majority of his year on the Challenger circuit, where he had a successful season with an incredible four titles on top of a second round appearance at Roland Garros in his first grand slam main draw. Though Cachin had a lot of momentum in 2022, he has lost all five of his matches this year and eight straight extending into last season. Granted just one of those matches was on clay, but he never quite found his footing in his first round loss against Huge Dellien in Cordoba. Monteiro is a crafty veteran who knows how to get the job done and he will exploit Cachin’s weaknesses.
Prediction: Monteiro in 2
Fabio Fognini vs Laslo Djere
The veteran Fognini looks for his first win of 2023 in his first event since the Australian Open. Djere has played a lot more tennis than Fognini but this is both players’ first match on clay of the year. Djere won their lone previous meeting on the surface in 2021. Fognini is a skilled player who can trouble anyone, but Djere plays best on clay while possessing a big serve that makes him dangerous. Fognini is an excellent returner, but he is less sharp at this point in his career and Djere will hold serve consistently. Fognini certainly has a shot, but Djere is more talented than his ranking shows and Fognini does not look like the player he once was. Djere will take the match but Fognini will not go down without a fight.
Prediction: Djere in 3
Jaume Munar vs Guido Pella
Head-to-head: 1-0 Pella
This is a rematch of their quarterfinal here in Buenos Aires back in 2019 where Pella won in three sets. Pella will certainly have the crowd behind him after winning his first match in 16 months last week in Cordoba, after a long injury layoff. Munar is 0-3 on the year but this is his first match on clay where he has won a large majority of his career matches. Munar capture two Challenger titles on clay and has a strong baseline game tailor-made for the surface. Pella is still shaking off the rust from his time off, and while he is certainly talented, his current state does not have enough to beat Munar. The Spaniard will return to his winning ways with a convincing victory.
Prediction: Munar in 2
Main Photo Credit: © David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports