Brothers Lead Banner Day For Argentines In Cordoba

It was a banner day for Argentines at the Cordoba Open, with six of eight home players moving into the second round on Tuesday.

For wild card Francisco Cerundolo and qualifier Juan Manuel Cerundolo, the joy was doubled after they became the first Argentine brothers to feature in the same ATP Tour main draw since Alejandro and Carlos Gattiker at 1981 Quito. They took it one step further on Tuesday, sealing both of their first tour-level victories to move into the second round.

19-year-old Juan Manuel was in action after qualifying for his first career ATP Tour tournament. He played far above his No. 335 ranking to take down #NextGenATP Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild in a tight 7-5, 7-6(3) battle.

“It’s amazing to play in the same tournament, because he can tell me many things about [playing at] this level which is a bit higher than my ranking,” Juan Manuel told ATPTour.com afterward. “It’s exciting to have your brother to train with and advise me and look forward to. I’m so happy for that.”

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Later in the day, older brother Francisco recovered strongly after dropping a tight first set to Italy’s Gianluca Mager, who sits just inside the Top 100 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. Francisco, No. 135 in the world, roared back to claim the victory 6-7(3), 6-1, 6-4 after two hours and three minutes.

“It’s absolutely amazing, me and my brother both winning on the ATP [Tour] is really amazing, to be honest,” said the 22-year-old after joining his brother in the second round. “It’s a dream for our family. Winning our first match, on the same day, at the same tournament – it’s unbelievable.”

Francisco and Juan Manuel Cerundolo

Eighth-seed Federico Delbonis was the top Argentine in action, and he edged past Pedro Sousa 6-4, 6-4 on Cancha Central. Delbonis fired 22 winners past Sousa as he claimed victory in an hour and 26 minutes. He will face countryman Facundo Bagnis next after Bagnis defeated wild card Nicolas Kicker 6-1, 6-4. Tomas Martin Etcheverry defeated Andrej Martin 6-3, 7-6(4), while Federico Coria toppled sixth seed Dominik Koepfer 6-1, 6-4 to join them in the next round.

Meanwhile, fifth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas put an early end to 2019 winner Juan Ignacio Londero’s Cordoba campaign with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory. Seventh seed Thiago Monteiro of Brazil defeated countryman Joao Menezes 6-3, 6-3.

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