Thiem Leads Seeds As Monaco Sets Nadal Rematch
Seeded players Thiem and Cuevas advance while Fognini falls in first round
It was mixed results for the highest seeds in action at the Argentina Open on Tuesday with No. 5 Dominic Thiem progressing and No. 6 Fabio Fognini crashing out. Juan Monaco later sealed a second-round rematch of last year's final with defending champion Rafal Nadal.
For the second time in as many FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, Thiem and Pablo Carreno Busta went the distance. And for the second time in as many encounters it was the 22-year-old Thiem who emerged victorious over three sets, with the Austrian posting a 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 victory over the Spaniard in the first round.
The youngest player in the Emirates ATP Rankings Top 20, Thiem blitzed the opening set before the 24-year-old Carreno Busta – the youngest of 14 Spaniards in the Top 100 – found his range. The pair had met on clay in Gstaad last year, when it was Thiem who again won through in three and on Tuesday he again found composure after letting the second set slip.
He finished the one-hour, 21-minute affair with four aces and converted five of nine break points. Thiem will next face Portuguese qualifier Gaston Elias, who rebounded to defeat Spaniard Daniel Munoz de la Nava 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in two hours and 14 minutes.
There was cause for Buenos Aires fans to celebrate when two local players on the comeback trail from injuries – Federico Delbonis and Monaco – posted victories. Delbonis upset No. 6 seed Fognini 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4. The 25-year-old left-hander, making his sixth appearance at the Argentina Open, took down the World No. 24 in two hours and 29 minutes, securing five of 10 break points and saving seven of the 10 on his own serve. He will meet Spaniard Nicolas Almagro in the second round.
Monaco had a straight-forward 6-1, 6-3 result over Italian qualifier Marco Cecchinati in little more than an hour. The 31-year-old – a champion here in 2007 and runner-up in 2009 and 2015 – missed just four first serves for the match and made good on four of five break points.
Paolo Lorenzi ensured it wasn't all bad news for the Italians in action. He secured a 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 win over Spaniard Pablo Andujar. Uruguayan eighth seed Pablo Cuevas forged his way past Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-5, 6-2 on the back of 10 aces over one hour and 34 minutes. Cuevas booked an all-South American second-round clash with Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo.
In an all-Argentine battle, wild card Renzo Olivo edged Facundo Bagnis 7-6(9), 7-5 in two hours and 12 minutes, while Serb Dusan Lajovic had a 7-6(7), 6-3 triumph over another Argentinian Facundo Arguello.