ATP Cordoba: Diego Schwartzman downs Jaume Munar. Londero and Djere advance


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ATP Cordoba: Diego Schwartzman downs Jaume Munar. Londero and Djere advance

The top seed Diego Schwartzman made a perfect start at home event in Cordoba, beating Jaume Munar 6-1, 7-5 in an hour and 43 minutes. The Argentine served at only 46% and drew the most from it, saving five out of seven break chances and taking more than half of the return points for five breaks from eight opportunities.

The better-ranked opponent delivered breaks in games two and six in the opener, taking it 6-1 with a volley winner in game seven and hoping for more of the same in the rest of the encounter. Munar was done and dusted following the first three games of the second set before mounting a comeback, pulling breaks back in games four and eight to prolong the set and stay in contention, only to suffer a break at 15 in game 11 and allow Schwartzman to move over the top with a backhand down the line winner a few minutes later.

The 4th seed Laslo Djere ousted a qualifier Pedro Martinez 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 31 minutes, firing 15 aces and saving four out of five break chances to keep the pressure on the other side of the net all the time. Hitting eight double faults and struggling on both the first and second serve, Martinez had to play against nine break points, getting broken three times to propel Laslo into the quarter-final and finishing his run in the second round.

Laslo took the opener with the second break in game six, securing an early lead in set number two and staying in front all the time to advance into the last eight. In the longest match of the tournament so far, Albert Ramos-Vinolas battled past Pablo Andujar 6-3, 6-7, 6-4 in three hours and 19 minutes, with both players winning 121 points and a grueling battle from start to finish.

The opening set lasted for more than 50 minutes and it was the shortest one of the encounter, with the second and third passing an hour mark in what was a classic encounter between two fine clay-courters. Ramos-Vinolas grabbed three straight breaks to win the first set 6-3, with three groups of back-to-back breaks in set number two before the tie break that Pablo won 7-4 with a single mini-break that gave him momentum ahead of the decider.

Andujar opened a 4-2 gap in the final set before Ramos-Vinolas performed a comeback, rattling off four straight games to erase the deficit and cross the finish line to stay on the title course. The defending champion Juan Ignacio Londero needed an hour and 25 minutes to beat Pedro Cachin 6-3, 6-3, fending off all five break chances and earning three breaks to forge the advantage and march into the last eight.

Londero secured the opening set with breaks in games seven and nine, with returners wasting chances in all four games at the beginning of the second set. The defending champion produced excellent serving after that, breaking Cachin at 3-2 and moving over the top with a hold at love in game nine.