After two days filled with closely contested matches, some of the favorites to lift the ATP Chile Open trophy kick off their participation on Wednesday in Santiago. Can they make quick work of their debut or will they be caught off guard by the underdogs?
ATP Santiago Wednesday Predictions
Marcelo Tomás Barrios Vera vs Hugo Dellien
Head to head: first meeting
The Chilean wild card netted an impressive comeback victory in the round of 32 over Spanish qualifier Carlos Taberner. If you haven’t done it yet, check out how Barrios hits forehand drop shots while holding his racket by its throat. Thanks to Alex Theodoridis for sharing it on Twitter. Meanwhile, Dellien prevailed in three sets as well against the struggling Marco Cecchinato. On paper, the Bolivian (No. 94) is clearly superior to the Chilean (No. 311). However, in the last year, Dellien has already lost on clay to a bunch of players ranked outside the Top 300 such as Aslan Karatsev, Andrea Vavassori, Javier Barranco, Juan Pablo Varillas, or Thiago Seyboth Wild. Therefore, it would be foolish to rule out another upset by the local product.
Prediction: Barrios in 3
Federico Delbonis vs Salvatore Caruso
Official head to head: first meeting
Unofficial head to head: Delbonis 3-0 Caruso
In his opening round win over Jozef Kovalik, Caruso produced his best tennis of the young season. In fact, it was his first straight sets win of the year. But I do not see him replicating it against Delbonis, who looked very convincing against the dangerous but streaky Martin Klizan. The lefty was dealt complicated draws in the current Golden Swing but is poised for a deep run in Santiago. In their two previous encounters on dirt, Delbonis did not drop a set. Sure, Caruso has improved a lot since 2015 and 2018, but the Argentinian is still the better player under normal circumstances.
Prediction: Delbonis in 2
Casper Ruud vs Alejandro Tabilo
Tabilo definitely has future potential, but that won’t help him much in this one. He is up against a better player in Ruud, who has spent plenty of time on the clay this season. Tabilo, meanwhile, has surprisingly only played this tournament on clay this season. That’s a mistake.
Prediction: Ruud in 2
Pablo Cuevas vs Renzo Olivo
Official head to head: Cuevas 2-0 Olivo
Unofficial head to head: Cuevas 5-1 Olivo
The Uruguayan started the 2020 season in ice cold form but, as usual, his play has improved on clay. A subpar loss in straights to Attila Balazs in Rio was preceded by two strong outings in Córdoba and Buenos Aires. A full week off was probably a blessing. Conversely, Olivo has already won three much needed matches in Santiago. The former No. 78, who upset Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at 2017 Roland Garros, is on the brink of exiting the Top 300. Over the last 52 weeks, aside from the San Benedetto Challenger title, Olivo has not advanced past the round of 16 in any tournament. I do not expect the negative trend to be reversed here in Chile.
Prediction: Cuevas in 2
Main Photo from Getty.