The Argentina Open begins: everything you need to know with Alcaraz, Wawrinka, Cilic and the best Argentines

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The main stadium looks different Lawn tennis in Buenos Aires. The Guillermo Vilas pitch sports a new tubular grandstand, which was installed above the east stalls and brought the stadium’s total capacity to nearly 6,000 people, anticipating a large audience for the event. Argentina Open 2024. This edition of the competition, which will begin its main draw this Monday, is one of the most attractive in recent years, if we talk about proper names. And one fact is enough to confirm it: for the first time since 2010 there will be three Slam champions in the main draw: Carlos Alcaraz, Stan Wawrinka AND Marin Cilic.

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It is true that of these three only the Murcian, number two in the world and first favourite, gives his best; but the Swiss, 57th at 38 years old, and the Croatian, 1042nd and one of the organisation’s guests, promise to attract fans with their simple presence in a tournament which will also feature six players among the top 30 and nine among the best 50 in the classification.

It had been 14 years since the ATP Buenos Aires had received so many Major winners. In that 2010 edition they played on the brick dust of BALTC Juan Carlos Ferrero, Carlos Moia AND Gastone Gaudio. He Mosquitochampion of Roland Garros 2003who retired in 2012 and is the current coach of Alcaraz, he was one of the great protagonists: he came second favorite (he was 22nd in the standings) and reached the final, in which he lost to his compatriot David Ferrer.

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Moyá, winner of the “big” French in 1998, had just come back from a break of almost a year due to a hip injury. He received one wild card (he was 507th in the world rankings) and fell in the second round Horace Zeballos. Nine months later he announced his retirement. And Gaudio, champion in Paris in 2004, also entered the draw thanks to an invitation (he was 174th) and made his debut against Onion. It was the last main draw level play ATPalthough he only officially hung up his racket in 2011.

In recent years there have been four editions with Slam champions on the scoreboard. Those of 2015 and 2016, which he played Rafael Nadal, then holder of 14 “big” crowns (today he has 22). The Spaniard, favorite on both occasions (he was in the top 5), prevailed in the first participation and reached the semi-final in the second.

In 2022 it was presented Juan Martin del Potro, champion in New York in 2009, invited by the organizers to return to the field after almost three years. The native of Tandil – who had not played since June 2019 due to the recurring problem in his right knee – said goodbye to his fans in front of his fans in an emotional match that he lost to Federico Delbonis for the first round.

And last year, Alcaraz landed in Buenos Aires for the first time as reigning champion US Open and top favorite, and ended up lifting the trophy. The Murcian, who now also has the trophy Wimbledon 2023today he is faced with a scenario similar to that of the last edition and is the great candidate to take the winner’s traditional partner.

Wawrinka and Cilic, however, arrive at different times.

The Swiss, Olympic gold in double con Roger Federer In Beijing 2008won three “majors” at the height of Big 3 (which makes those consecrations even more impressive), the Australian Open 2014, Roland Garros 2015 and the US Open 2016. Two surgeries on his left knee in 2017 and two on his left foot in 2021 have prevented him from competing regularly in recent years. Resilient, he has recovered his level and, a month after turning 39, he is the most “veteran” of the top 100 and continues to fight.

Wawrinka training at BALTC.  Photo Twitter @ArgentinaOpenWawrinka training at BALTC. Photo Twitter @ArgentinaOpen

He will be playing for the fourth time in Buenos Aires, after his performances in 2011, 2012 (semi-finals in both) and 2013 (final), when he had not yet won his first Major.

The Croatian, champion in Flushing Meadows in 2014, he’s coming off a nightmare 2023. After starting the year in the top 20, he suffered a serious right knee injury during tournament training. Pune, in the first week of the season. He had to undergo surgery and needed 12 months to recover (he had a failed comeback in Umag in July). At 35, he will play the Buenos Aires tournament for the first time, which he signed up for in 2018, but ended up withdrawing due to injury.

Cilic has a special connection with Argentine tennis, which makes his presence at BALTC these days more attractive. Because he was one of the members of the team that lost the final of Davis 2016 in Zagreb, in which the Albiceleste team obtained the Silver salad bowl for the first time.

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Also because he had a career parallel to that of Del Potro. They were born five days apart, they shared the court since they were boys and they formed a beautiful friendship. And fate marked very similar paths for them: both, 1.98 meters tall and equipped with powerful drives, reached 4th place in the rankings and won their only “big” in New York.

Three top 20 and a trio of Argentinians among the early favourites

If the presence of these three Grand Slam champions does not end up seducing the public, perhaps the highly competitive team that will have the Buenos Aires event will do so, and continues to dream of one day moving up in category (going from 250 to 500). , an opportunity missed at the end of last year).

Behind Alcaraz in the list of favorites, two other players appear in the top 20. The English Cameron Norrie19th, finalist last year and coached by the Argentine Facundo Lugonesand Chilean Nicholas Jarry20th and in the best moment of his career.

The view of the Guillermo Vilas pitch from the new grandstand of the BALTC main stadium.  Photo Twitter @ArgentinaOpenThe view of the Guillermo Vilas pitch from the new grandstand of the BALTC main stadium. Photo Twitter @ArgentinaOpen

Also among the top eight seeds are: Francisco Cerúndolo (22nd), Sebastiano Baez (26th) e Tomas Etcheverry (29th), the best-ranked Argentines and the young great talents. And with Serbian Laslo Djere (35°), French Arthur Phils (36th, 19 years old and one of the revelations of last season) and the Austrian Sebastiano Ofner (38th), nine of the world’s best 50 will play in the BALTC.

With a team of that level, the organizers bet big and decided to increase the capacity of the Palermo club’s main stadium. With the temporarily installed tubular grandstand (with seats and not boards, for greater audience comfort), 850 seats were added, bringing the total capacity to 5,750 people.

The negative? The high cost of tickets, which tripled (and more) last year’s values. To see the Monday night games, for example, the cheapest one (in those new stands) costs 15 thousand pesos. But if you want to see the final on Sunday you will have to spend at least 52 thousand (with the most expensive tickets at 275 thousand).

Three Grand Slam champions – at different moments in their careers, but equally attractive to the fans – and a group of talented rackets, the attractions of an Argentina Open that promises good tennis in a setting specially set up for the occasion.

The matches of the first day

Three Argentinians and two Grand Slam champions will take to the court at the start of the Argentina Open main draw.

The action day of the session will open with the clash between Facundo Diaz Acosta95th and one of the organisation’s guests, the German Daniele Altmaier, 52nd, which will be played at 1:30 p.m. Then they will take the field Marin Cilicanother entered thanks to a wild card, and the Serbian Laslo Djereseventh seed.

Not before 6.30pm Stan Wawrinka57°, e Pedro Cachin (73°) will raise the curtain on the night session. And not before 8pm, Tomas Etcheverrysixth favorite, he will go to the round of 16 against the Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena65°.

All matches will be televised by TyC Sports.

Source: Clarin

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