Replacing the ATP 250 tournament in Los Angeles is the Claro Open Colombia. The tournament is an ATP 250 based in Bogota on hard courts but has somewhat of a weak field for it’s first edition with just two players in the top 50. Janko Tipsarevic and Kevin Anderson lead the field as top two seeds.
The tournament sees a number of Colombian wildcards, who have spent most of their time on the Challenger circuit or below. One of these is Nicolas Barrientos who sits just inside the top 300 at no. 294 in the rankings. He has a futures title on Mexican hard courts but has struggled at Challengers with a 3-6 record and lost in straights in his last outing in Manta. Ruben Bemelmans should have enough to see him off and book a match with the top seed Tipsarevic. The other Colombian in the quarter is Alejandro Falla who was unfortunate enough to draw a seed in Xavier Malisse. Falla holds a 2-5 record against Malisse including a straight sets defeat in Delray Beach this year. The winner will play either Jimmy Wang or Matthew Ebden, both of which lost their first matches in Newport, the former in qualifying.
Edouard Roger-Vasselin gets a bye as fourth seed with Illya Marchenko or Matteo Viola awaiting in round two. Marchenko has a challenger title on hard courts but is yet to pick one up at the main tour level. Meanwhile, Viola is an awful form having lost 9 of his last 10 matches at all levels. Michal Przysiężny troubled eventual Newport winner Nicolas Mahut and really should have taken a set but has drawn one of the tougher unseeded players in Vasek Pospisil. The Canadian has a 2-0 record over the Pole although the most recent victory was due to a retirement while Pospisil held a commanding lead in the deciding set. Aljaz Bedene kicks off the tournament against James Duckworth. The Aussie has just a 1-4 record on the main tour this year, with his win over Benjamin Mitchell at the Australian Open the sole victory.
The bottom half is very qualifier heavy with the likes of Guido Andreozzi, Chris Guccione and Agustin Velotti amongst others fighting for places. Facundo Arguello plays one for the opportunity to most likely face fifth side Adrian Mannarino. Fresh off an appearance in the second week of Wimbledon, the Frenchman looks to be finally returning close to the level that saw him make the top 50 in 2011. An opener against Alejandro Gonzalez offers a great chance of more points for Mannarino. Igor Sijsling was a shock early exit in Newport to Michael Russell and will have his work cut out should Ivo Karlovic defeat a qualifier. Both players played nothing but tiebreaks in the matches they lost in Newport and it would be far from a shock were there to be multiple tiebreaks should they meet in round two.
A Colombian will be guaranteed in round two however with Santiago Giraldo playing wildcard Carlos Salamanca. Salamanca has a 1-7 record at Challenger and qualifier level and should be a straight forward win for Giraldo, who holds a 5-3 record over him from the days when both were slogging away at the lower levels. The winner will play Evgeny Korolev or a qualifier. The bottom half of the draw looks favourable to second seed Kevin Anderson. The second seed is an impressive 27-12 at main tour level this year with a final and two quarter finals to his name on hard courts. He begins against the winner of a qualifier and Eduardo Struvay.
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