Entering the previous week with seven Challenger wins and no ATP matches by his name, the 19-year-old Juan Manuel Cerundolo qualified for the Cordoba Open main draw and made an ATP debut in front of the home fans. Not stopping there, the youngster prevailed over Thiago Seyboth Wild in the first match and toppled the 3rd seed Miomir Kecmanovic to find himself in the quarters. The 7th seed Thiago Monteiro fell in three sets, and a teenager could start dreaming about going all the way. In the semis, Juan Manuel ousted the fellow Argentine Federico Coria in three sets to advance into the first ATP final. The experienced Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas stood between Cerundolo and his first ATP crown, and the youngster performed a 6-0, 2-6, 6-2 triumph to lift the trophy and write history books.
Thus, Juan Manuel became the fifth player in the Open era to win an ATP title on debut, the first since Santiago Ventura in Casablanca 2004. Also, ranked 335th, the Argentine became the fifth lowest-ranked player with an ATP trophy since 1990 and the fifth-youngest player from his country with an ATP shield in his hands! Cerundolo won 12 points more than Ramos-Vinolas and fended off eight out of 11 break chances offered to the rival.
Juan Manuel Cerundolo claimed the first ATP title on the main-level debut.
The Spaniard got broken six times to lose the edge in the decider and hand the trophy to his young opponent. Cerundolo held at 15 in the first game and grabbed a break in the second following Ramos-Vinolas’ forehand error. The youngster earned another break in game four and delivered a bagel following Albert’s double fault at 5-0.
The more experienced player clinched an early break in set number two and moved 4-up when Cerundolo hit a double fault in game five. Serving for the set at 5-2, Ramos-Vinolas held at love to introduce a decider, where he was the favorite. From 2-0 down, Juan Manuel shifted into a higher gear and rattled off six straight games to march over the top in style. The Argentine broke back in game four to level the score and forged a 4-2 advantage when Albert sprayed a backhand mistake. Returning at 5-2, Cerundolo grabbed a break at love to seal the deal and celebrate his first ATP title.
Tennis – Cerundolo is the fifth player in the Open era to win an ATP title on debut