BLUMENAU/STARNBERG, January 13, 2022
Spanish veteran and former Top 10 player Fernando Verdasco opened his 2022 season with a comfortable first-round win at the second edition of the Circuito Dove Men Care in Blumenau, a city with about 360,000 inhabitants and located in the Vale do Itajaí, state of Santa Catarina, in the South Region of Brazil.
The top seed of the $37,520 ATP Challenger Tour 50 clay-court event defeated local qualifier Eduardo Ribeiro 6-3, 6-2 on a sunny Wednesday afternoon at the Tabajara Tênis Clube. Verdasco, a winner of seven ATP Tour titles, capitalized on four of his five break-point chances to secure victory in one hour and 23 minutes.
Up next for the World No. 170 will be US-American Nicolas Moreno de Alboran, who beat his compatriot Strong Kirchheimer 6-1, 6-3.
Sakamoto ousts Burruchaga
Home favourite Pedro Sakamoto overcame a slow start to eliminate Argentine qualifier Roman Burruchaga, son of former football international Jorge Burruchuga, who scored the winning goal in the 83rd minute of the 1986 World Cup final against Germany, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Like father, like son. 🎾⚽️
In 1986, his father Jorge scored the winning goal in the 83rd minute of the World Cup final. pic.twitter.com/QlAEJS1VN8
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) January 6, 2022
The World No. 368 won 53 per cent of the total points played to prevail after two hours and 26 minutes.
“Conditions were a little different from the last few days when it rained here. Today was very hot, humid, and it was physically very tough,” said Sakamoto. “From the middle of the second set, I managed to impose my game and controlled most of the rallies. Consequently, my opponent lowered the intensity and I ended up doing well.”
Sakamoto will next play eighth favourite Facundo Diaz Costa of Argentina.
In second-round action, No. 3 seed Genaro Alberto Olivieri of Argentina eased past Cristian Rodriguez from Colombia 6-2, 6-0 in exactly one hour of play to face his compatriot Facundo Juarez in the quarterfinals. The 24-year-old from Mendoza also remained untroubled in his encounter against 18-year-old Brazilian wild card entry Pedro Boscardin Dias, winning 6-3, 6-0 in one hour and 12 minutes.
ATP Challenger Blumenau – Wednesday Results
Pedro Sakamoto (BRA) d. Roman Burruchaga (ARG) – 4/6 6/3 6/2
Juan Bautista Torres (ARG) d. Orlando Luz (BRA) – 6/7(5) 6/4 6/4
Fernando Verdasco (ESP) d. Eduardo Ribeiro (BRA) – 6/3 6/2
Facundo Diaz Acosta (ARG) d. Quentin Folliot (FRA) – 6/3 6/0
Genaro Olivieri (ARG) d. Cristian Rodriguez (COL) – 6/2 6/0
Juan Pablo Paz (ARG) d. Noah Rubin (USA) – 6/7(6) 7/6(1) 6/3
Nicolas Moreno De Alboran (USA) d. Strong Kirchheimer (USA) – 6/3 6/0
Gonzalo Villanueva (ARG) d. Ignacio Carou (URU) – 1/6 6/1 6/2
Facundo Juarez (ARG) d. Pedro Boscardin Dias (BRA) – 6/3 6/0