World number 6 and 2016 Buenos Aires champion Dominic Thiem made a winning start at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club after a 6-4 6-3 triumph over Horacio Zeballos in an hour and 29 minutes. The Austrian improved his score in 2018 to 9-1 and this was his second win in as many matches against the Argentine, defeating him at Roland Garros last year as well. Everything worked well for Thiem who served at 77% and lost just 15 points in nine service games to control the scoreboard all the time.
He scored a lone break point he faced in the second game of the match and the pressure was all on Zeballos from there, as Thiem created 10 break chances and scored three breaks to safely bring the match home. The Argentine served above 70% as well but that didn't bring him much, struggling to overpower the Austrian from the baseline and to keep the pace on his second serve.
The first set was decided when Thiem broke at love in game three and he stayed in front ever since, creating four more break points before he closed the set on own serve in game 10 with a service winner. Horacio fends off two break points in the third game of the second set to at least stay in touch until 3-3 but he lost the last four games of the match, allowing Thiem to break him with a cracking forehand down the line winner in game seven and again in game nine when the Argentine netted a backhand to end the match on the losing side.
Aljaz Bedene will play in his first ATP quarter-final since s-Hertogenbosch last year thanks to a 3-6 7-5 6-1 win over the third seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas in 2 hours and 10 minutes. The Slovenian served at only 55% but that wasn't an obstacle for him, blasting 19 aces and saving four out of five break points he faced to prevail in the closing stages of the second set and sprint towards the finish line after that.
Ramos-Vinolas came to Buenos Aires after playing in Quito final last Sunday and he looked good in the opening two sets, creating a break point in game nine of the second set that could push him closer to the win. Bedene saved it and that gave him the momentum that drove him to the end of the match, sailing through set number three to book his place in the last eight.
The Spaniard faced nine break points in total and he got broken three times, suffering a crucial break in the 12th game of the second set that proved to be a game changer. He saved three break points in the opening set and broke Aljaz in game six to open up a 4-2 gap, bringing the set home with a good hold in game nine.
The second set was tight and the Spaniard missed that break point in game nine, dropping serve three games later to lose the set 7-5 and the momentum as well. Bedene moved ahead with a break in game two and he saved two break points in the game that followed to cement his advantage and put Albert under big pressure.
The Slovenian held with ease in his last two service games and he broke again in game six to close the match in style and advance into the quarters. Second round results: