It’s time for three-hour clay battles as the ATP Tour arrives in one of its most unique swings. The South American part of the season kicks off with the ATP Cordoba Open, and there are five singles main draw matches on Monday’s schedule. Who do you think will advance to the next stage of the event?
ATP Cordoba Day 1 Predictions
Daniel Elahi Galan vs Jaume Munar
This is one of those clay classics that feels extremely hard to predict. Even when they played twice within less than a month two years ago, the scorelines were completely different. Daniel Elahi Galan won the match that was contested in Cordoba, although it’s hard to talk about any advantage in terms of the conditions. He did have a slightly better clay preparation, though, with Jaume Munar choosing to try Montpellier last week and staying on hard courts for a bit longer.
Prediction: Galan in 3
Facundo Bagnis vs Juan Manuel Cerundolo
Head-to-head: Cerundolo 2-0
Facundo Bagnis has begun the season on a very high note, grabbing his 17th Challenger title in Buenos Aires and now qualifying here with a double bagel along the way. The veteran looks like he might have a bit of a bounce-back year after barely making the cut for the Australian Open just a few weeks ago. His opponent is a former champion of this event, but Juan Manuel Cerundolo’s form hasn’t been impressive for a while now and this might actually be a good opportunity for Bagnis.
Prediction: Bagnis in 3
Hugo Dellien vs Thiago Seyboth Wild
Head-to-head: Dellien 4-3
Hugo Dellien won both their matches last year, including in the qualifying for this event. By the Santiago final it felt like he was trying to stop the inevitable though, barely stopping Thiago Seyboth Wild but definitely not slowing down his rise for the rest of the season. Now the Brazilian seems like the clear favorite and it will take something special from Dellien to stop him from dominating the match with that hammer forehand.
Prediction: Seyboth Wild in 2
Facundo Diaz Acosta vs Federico Agustin Gomez
Federico Agustin Gomez is recently enjoying a bit of a breakthrough many years after his college career, but the 27-year-old did very well to qualify here and secure his ATP Tour main draw debut. The draw certainly isn’t kind to him though. Facundo Diaz Acosta was a juggernaut in clay Challengers last year and while he actually didn’t get any big results in the Golden Swing, this only gives him a better opportunity to gain points this season.
Prediction: Diaz Acosta in 2
Albert Ramos-Vinolas vs Pedro Cachin
Head-to-head: Cachin 2-0
Both players are yet to win a match this year, but they’re entering one of the parts of the season where they should be at their strongest. Last year they squared off twice in a different clay setting in Kitzbuhel/Gstaad with Pedro Cachin taking advantage of the faster conditions to emerge victorious on both occasions. It feels like Albert Ramos-Vinolas will have a better shot here. This might be where we see if the veteran has any fire left in him or not.
Prediction: Ramos-Vinolas in 3
Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane – USA TODAY Sports