Cristian Garin earned his first tour-level win of the 2023 on Sunday, beating Alexander Bublik to send Chile to the Davis Cup Finals.
On Tuesday, he continued his winning run with a 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-0 victory against seventh seed Pedro Martinez at the Cordoba Open. Prior to this month, Garin had not played a clay-court match since last July; he had not won on the surface since Roland Garros last June.
“This is my first ATP match on clay after six months, so it’s tough to get back to the rhythm of this surface,” the Chilean said post-match. “It’s nice to have another match tomorrow or Thursday… great week.”
In the two-hour, 30-minute match, Garin attacked the Martinez second serve to great effect, winning 66 per cent of points on the Spaniard’s second delivery and breaking serve five times in 14 chances. After Martinez won five straight games to snatch the second set, Garin raced through the third set without allowing his opponent a game point.
The Chilean will next face Portgual’s Joao Sousa or Argentina’s Tomas Martin Etcheverry, with the pair set to open play Wednesday on Cordoba’s stadium court.
After reaching a career-high Pepperstone ATP Ranking of No. 17 in 2021, Garin fell out of the Top 100 following a first-round exit at the Australian Open. His Cordoba opening-round win lifted him six places in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, putting him back into the Top 100 at No. 97.
Garin’s match was one of a trio of three-setters on centre court. In the most dramatic of the three, Argentine qualifier Federico Delbonis saved two match points on return at 5-4 in the third set against Alejandro Tabilo before claiming a 6-7(8), 6-2, 7-6(6) victory.
In Tuesday’s opener, sixth seed and home favourite Federico Coria defeated Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-2. The Argentine, who hit 12 aces and saved six of seven break points in the contest, awaits the winner of the Wednesday matchup between Facundo Bagnis and Marco Cecchinato.
Wild card Guido Pella made it three Argentine winners on Tuesday by closing the evening’s play with a 6-2, 6-2 victory against Italian qualifier Andrea Vavassori.