The Copa Claro started today, with the first round of qualifications, and to be honest, I had to make a lot of very difficult choices. As much as I would have liked to watch full matches, it was sadly impossible because there were too many players I wanted to see. But I can say that I saw almost every player I wanted to see and that those I missed won, so I will see them tomorrow.
From Eduardo Schwank to Facundo Argüello, including Juan Pablo Brzezicki, Agustín Velotti, Javier Marti, Federico Delbonis, Diego Schwartzman, Nicolás Pastor, and more, it was a day of many firsts for me, as until today, I had only seen these players on TV/Web and in videos. A treat for any tennis fan!
Watching Federico Delbonis dismantling Diego Junqueira with clever volleys and drop shots, or Javier Marti’s beautiful backhand, and getting really sucked into the end of a very disputed match between Facundo Argüello and Machi González were among the highlights of the day. In fact, this match was so tight and of such a level that many players dropped by the Centre Court to come and watch the end of it. The third set really kept us riveted to our seats and it was a hard-worked win for the 19-year-old from Cordoba (6-7(4) 6-1 7-6(2)) against an experienced and tough opponent.
One big surprise marked this first day of qualifications, as Andrés Molteni made everyone in the crowd rejoice when he defeated the first seed of the qualifications, Frenchman Jérémy Chardy, in straight sets to crown the upset, 6-2 7-5.
Brzezicki to play at least one other match
Buenos Aires native Juan Pablo Brzezicki, who announced recently that the Copa Claro would be his last tournament on the ATP Tour, won his first match of qualification today, defeating countryman Maximiliano Estevez 7-5 6-1 to meet with Wayne Odesnik tomorrow.
Brzezikci seemed to enjoy himself quite a lot during the match, and I must admit that we did, too. It was an entertaining match to follow.
After the match, Juampi was nice enough to answer a few questions, and even nicer to answer them in English:
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Truth be told, he’ll really be missed!
Day 1 in images
There are, of course, many, many more pictures from today but here are the best of them. Enjoy!
The day promises to be extremely interesting tomorrow as, if weather permits (we were lucky today, it really rained only after the end of the matches), the qualifications will continue with the second round.