ATP Buenos Aires 2013 Draw Preview and Analysis

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For full draw, please click here: ATP Buenos Aires 2013 Draw

The third tournament of the Golden Swing kicks off in Buenos Aires next week. The Copa Claro is an ATP 250 event in the sixteenth edition this year and has seen the likes of David Ferrer and Juan Carlos Ferrero win in recent years. Since 2000, an Argentine player has made the final in all but two tournaments but they have only gone 4-7 in that time – though two of the tournaments saw all-Argentine finals.

Top seed David Ferrer will have to make it past a number of home players if he is to take the title here as expected. The top seed opens against wildcard Agustin Velotti. Velotti was a constant on the Challenger Tour last year, making five clay semi finals but could never quite make the next step up and get into a final. In what is a horrible draw for the two but could well be a great match, Carlos Berlocq takes on David Nalbandian. Berlocq managed to take a set off Rafael Nadal in Sao Paulo before falling to defeat while Nalbandian has rolled back the years this past week, making the final in the same tournament. He defeated Nicolas Almagro on his way there and takes on another Spaniard in Nadal in the final. Nalbandian holds a 3-0 record over Berlocq, most recently defeating his Davis Cup team mate in this same tournament last year. Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo starts against a qualifier that include the likes of Dustin Brown, Gastao Elias and Paul Capdeville and could well face a fellow Spaniard in the next round should Guillermo Garcia Lopez come through against Fabio Fognini. However, Fognini boasts a 3-2 head to head over Garcia Lopez and more importantly leads 2-1 on the dirt although he lost their last encounter on the surface in Casablanca.

After flopping early in Sao Paulo, Thomaz Bellucci will be hoping for a better tournament and opens against a wildcard in Diego Sebastian Schwartzman.  20 year old Schwartzman cleaned up on the Argentina Futures in the middle of the year, winning five of them before breaking his Challenger duck in Buenos Aires to end the year. The winner will most likely play Tommy Robredo who will be expected to defeat a qualifier. Also drawing a qualifier is Martin Alund who received a special exemption entry into this tournament after his exploits in Sao Paulo that saw him make the semi finals as a lucky loser. The winner plays either Aljaz Bedene or Horacio Zeballos. Zeballos lost in the first round of Sao Paulo after his aston ishing victory in Vina Del Mar while Bedene has lost his past four matches. Bedene impressed on the Challenger Tour last year, winning titles in Barletta and Kosice on the clay.

Stanislas Wawrinka really should be a heavy favourite to make the semi finals from his section of the draw but often disappoints on clay despite seemingly being suited to it, winning just two clay titles in his career (Casablanca 2010, Umag 2006). Paolo Lorenzi and Daniel Gimeno-Traver being first and second round opponents make it a kind draw for the Swiss though, both players lost in the first round of Sao Paulo after making the quarter finals of Vina Del Mar. Simone Bolelli made the semis in Sao Paulo in his best week for a long time and faces Leonardo Mayer. Mayer had to withdraw from Sao Paulo last week with a back injury so it will be interesting to see how he does here if he plays. Flavio Cipolla could make it an all Italian second rounder but his struggles this year suggest Albert Ramos will have an easy time of it in the first round.

Pablo Andujar and Albert Montanes face off for the second time in two weeks. Montanes’ 7-5 6-2 victory in Sao Paulo moved the head to head to 3-2 in his favour to extend the miserable form Andujar is in right now. A defeat of Santiago Giraldo in the first round in Brazil ended a run of 11 straight losses but it is hard to fancy him winning right now. Whoever wins, Joao Sousa or Federico Del Bonis will definitely believe they have a chance to advance. Sousa picked up two clay challengers last year while Del Bonis’ successes are even more recent – winning the Bucaramanga challenger in Colombia this year. After drawing Carlos Berlocq the past two tournaments, Andrey Kuznetsov will be glad to see the back of him but his first round opponent here isn’t the best draw either. Filippo Volandri defeated the Russian twice in clay challengers last year. 2011 winner and 2012 losing finalist Nicolas Almagro should make light work of this section and begins with Guido Pella. Pella is another with an impressive year on the Challenger Tour and most recently defeated Fabio Fognini in a bizarre three setter, ending 7-6 1-6 6-1.

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