The South American circuit has switched from the Argentine across the Andes to Chile where where their local hero, Cristian Garin is the top seed and hopes to emulate Diego Schwartzman’s success in Buenos Aires by collecting the Santiago title on Sunday.
I could have won six and six and I could have been out of here about an hour ago, but Nico played some good points. I’ve got to give it to him. Nico played well tonight, served great when he needed to. He’s a hell of a player. Frances Tiafoe
He will have plenty of challengers not least America’s Frances Tiafoe who opened his Chile Dove Men+Care Open campaign winning a three-setter, all on 9-7 tie-breaks!
In what proved to be an early test of Tiafoes’s stamina, the 2-hour and 52-minute contest against local player and wildcard Nicolas Jarry, concluded 7-6(7) 6-7(7) 7-6(7) with the pair produing 42 aces between them in what was a high class serving display.
Jarry saved four match points in the second set but it was Tiafoe who eld his nerve to progress into the second round on his seventh match point where he will gce Argentine Facundo Bagnis, a 6-7(4) 6-2 6-3 winner over Italy’s Marco Cecchinato.
“Obviously due to crazy times, [we weren’t] able to have the big crowd here tonight [supporting Jarry], but I hope everyone who was here enjoyed it,” Tiafoe said in his on-court interview. “Me and Nico are great friends. I like him a lot, and I’m happy to see him back.
“With performances like this, the way he served and everything, I can see him getting back to where he was…
“It doesn’t get more up and down than this match tonight,” Tiafoe added. “The ups and downs were crazy. I was up 6/4 in both breakers. I could have won six and six and I could have been out of here about an hour ago, but Nico played some good points. I’ve got to give it to him. Nico played well tonight, served great when he needed to. He’s a hell of a player.”
Also in action on Day 1, Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena needed nearly two hours to topple the sixth seed, Itlay’s Salvatore Caruso 6-4 7-6(5) and progress not round two. He awaits the winner of local wild card Gonzalo Lama and 19-year-old Argentine Juan Manuel Cerundolo, who the Cordoba Open on his tour debut eight days ago.
Also through are Colombia’s Daniel Elahi Galan who withstood 14 aces from big-serving German Daniel Altmaier, and broke him two times en route to a 7-6(2) 3-6 7-5 victory and Portugal’s Pedro Sousa who cruised past Argentine qualifier Leonardo Mayer 6-2 6-4.
Galan will face third seed Spain’s Pablo Andujar while Sousa will face fourth seedfrom Serbia, Laslo Djere, in the next round.