Following a premature exit at the Rio Open last week, world No. 3 Rafael Nadal traveled over to the neighboring Argentina, where he began his campaign on Wednesday afternoon in successful fashion. Now, with his first match behind him, Nadal will encounter Federico Delbonis, whom he holds a Follow the match live here: 1-0 lead in the head-to-head series.
Follow the match live here: Nadal v Delbonis Live Stream
Seeded first at the Buenos Aires Ciudad, Nadal lived up to his billing and defeated Facundo Arguello in straight sets, 6-4, 6-0 to reach the quarter-final round of the tournament. While he was broken once during the encounter, Nadal maintained control of the match, particularly in the second set, and eventually closed out the match in 1 hour and 4 minutes.
“What happened is that in the first set, he played well, he played confidently, and I did not play very well,” said Nadal. “I was a little nervous about the match because of the match that I lost last week in Rio. “As the match went on, I started to feel a little bit better. Winning the first set was vital, and from then, everything got better… I did things well in the second set.”
Nadal’s upcoming opponent, Federico Delbonis, defeated Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi 6-4, 6-2 to secure a spot in the final eight in Buenos Aires. He struck 72% of his first service points and secured five breaks of serve to close out the match in 1 hour and 18 minutes.
Nadal and Delbonis crossed paths once previously on the ATP World Tour in a second round match-up at the Vina Del Mar Open back in 2013. Nadal won the encounter in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 and will likely hold a similar edge on the clay courts in Argentina. He is clearly yet to regain his peak form and condition, but Nadal rarely misses a beat on the red dust courts, and it would be hard to imagine this encounter ending in anything other than a straight sets victory for the Spaniard.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal in Straight Sets