Alongside the hard courts of Montpellier, the ATP Tour returns to South America as the first clay swing begins in Viña del Mar, Chile. Last years event was won by Horacio Zeballos, ending with defeat of Rafael Nadal in the final on the Spaniard’s first tournament after 7 months out with injury.
Check out the Full Draw Here: ATP Vina del Mar 2014 Draw
Fresh off helping Italy to the next round of Davis Cup, top seed Fabio Fognini moves on to South American clay opening against either Aljaz Bedene or Stephane Robert. Robert was a surprise fourth rounder in Australia but has not won a main draw match on the surface since his shock French Open victory over Tomas Berdych three years ago.
Talented youngster Christian Garin won a match at this event last year before taking a set off Jeremy Chardy and will play the Frenchman once more this year. After winning the first set Garin fell to a 6-4 3-6 2-6 defeat to Chardy. Two of the top Challenger players on clay face off as Filippo Volandri and Pablo Carreno Busta meet for the second time. Volandri was a straight sets winning in Genova last year.
Nicolas Almagro makes his first appearance of the year after injury and will be able to ease his way in with Albert Ramos or a qualifier to begin. Guido Pella and Facundo Bagnis are amongst those hoping to qualify and could well meet each other if they do so with an all-qualifier match in the same quarter. The winner plays either Federico Delbonis or Pablo Cuevas who still has his protected ranking in use.
The bottom half the draw is populated by three seeded Spaniards with Tommy Robredo leading the way at No.2. Robredo was a winner in 2011 and will be one of the favourites this week. He made the fourth round in Australia before losing in three tight sets to the eventual winner, Stanislas Wawrinka. Robredo faces either Leonardo Mayer or Andreas Haider-Maurer. Mayer won their only meeting in a Challenger in 2007.
Alexandr Dolgopolov skipped Davis Cup action this weekend so should be refreshing coming into the tournament but takes on a capable clay courter in Daniel Gimeno-Traver. Dolgopolov won their last meeting in 2013 although that was on the clay. The winner will probably face defending champion Horacio Zeballos who opens his defence against Chilean wildcard Gonzalo Lama in the 20 year old’s first main draw match. Lama picked up a number of titles in Chilean Futures last year but this will likely be too much for the home player.
Marcel Granollers and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez have the chance to make it an all Spanish quarter final if they both make it that far. Granollers plays a qualifier or Santiago Giraldo with the Colombian having a 2-0 record against Granollers, both of which were on clay. Paolo Lorenzi made a final in his first clay tournament of the year two weeks ago in Bucaramanga and begins against the player he defeated for the third straight time in the semi final – Alejandro Gonzalez. Garcia-Lopez is 2-0 over Lorenzi although the first meeting was 10 years ago and the second was by retirement.
SF: Nicolas Almagro def. Fabio Fognini
SF: Tommy Robredo def. Marcel Granollers
F: Nicolas Almagro def. Tommy Robredo