SANTIAGO/STARNBERG, October 6, 2021
Argentine brothers Juan Manuel Cerundolo and Francisco Cerundolo lead the field at Dove Men & Care Legión Sudamericana Challenger Santiago 2. The top two seeds of the $52,080 ATP Challenger Tour clay-court tournament were in first-round action on a sold-out Tuesday at the Club Deportivo Palestino in Santiago de Chile, however, with different outcomes.
Nicolas Kicker knocked out his compatriot and No. 1 seed Juan Manuel Cerundolo 6-0, 6-1. The 29-year-old from Merlo saved all three break points he faced and converted six of his own 11 break-point opportunities to advance in one hour and 14 minutes. Kicker will next take on Argentine Facundo Mena.
Juan Manuel’s elder brother Francisco Cerundolo battled past Colombian lucky loser Cristian Rodriguez 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. The World No. 110, a winner of four ATP Challenger events, sent down four aces and won 78 per cent of his first-round matches to prevail after two hours and six minutes.
After the match, Buenos Aires native Cerundolo said that it’s great to have these events here in South America, as most of the tournament in the year took place abroad.
“We are in Chile right now but it feels like being at home,” he added.
The 23-year-old will take on Frenchman Alexis Gautier, who qualified for his third main draw during the South American Challenger swing this autumn.
Jarry, Lama flying the Chilean flag
Two of four Chileans in action advanced to the second round. Former World No. 38 Nicolas Jarry defeated Juan Pablo Ficovich of Argentina 6-4, 6-4 and will next play Argentine qualifier Facundo Diaz Acosta, who upset No. 6 seed and home favourite Tomas Barrios Vera 6-3, 5-7, 6-1.
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Local wild card entry Gonzalo Lama rallied past Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves from Brazil 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 and will next oppose Portuguese Goncalo Oliveira.
World No. 1594 Victor Nunez, who also entered the main draw thanks to a wild card, was without a chance against Julian Lenz. The 28-year-old German was in cruise mode, winning 6-0, 6-2 in only 53 minutes. Lenz will next take on No. 3 seed Juan Pablo Varillas from Peru.