Schwartzman Cruises In Cordoba Opener

Top seed to face Galan in quarter-finals

Diego Schwartzman bounced back from an early Australian Open exit with a comfortable win at the Cordoba Open in his native Argentina.

The top seed needed just over an hour to defeat countryman Juan Pablo Ficovich, 6-3, 6-2, and progress to the quarter-finals. A finalist in Cordoba in 2020, Schwartzman is chasing his second ATP Tour title in Argentina, following his triumph in his hometown of Buenos Aires last year.

“I’m trying to keep focus, to win matches every tournament. For me, winning two or three matches per tournament is very important,” Schwartzman said post-match.

“When you are not serving 210 [kph], you have to run, you have to have a good feeling. Winning matches is the easy way to have the confidence for the next tournament… If I play good tennis, I know that I have chances to win many matches every tournament.”

Against the 25-year-old qualifier, the World No. 14 controlled the rallies throughout on the red clay and closed out the match with a down-the-line backhand winner. The key difference in the contest was on first serve: Schwartzman won 89 per cent of points (25/28) on his first delivery, while winning half (19/38) of his first-serve return points.

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Following a first-round bye, the victory puts the Argentine through to the quarter-finals. After another off day, he’ll face lucky loser Daniel Elahi Galan. The Colombian World No. 127 defeated Spain’s Jaume Munar, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, earlier on Wednesday on centre court.

Also through to the last eight is Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Londero, who upset eighth seed Pedro Martinez, 6-3, 7-6(3). He will face lucky loser Nikola Milojevic, who closed out the evening session with a 6-3, 7-6(4) win over Argentine wild card Tomas Martin Etcheverry. The Serb replaced the injured Dominic Thiem on the draw’s bottom line and inherited the Austrian's first-round bye.

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