Federico Delbonis and Jaume Munar will meet in the first round of the ATP tournament in Santiago, on clay.
Having watched these two players during the South American clay court swing recently, I have to say that Munar seems value for money to me in this clash.
Delbonis won 2 and lost 2 on clay this year, being completely average, at best. His wins came against Pedro Sousa (injured when leading in the first set) and Juan Manuel Cerundolo (who was fresh off an exhausting title run), so neither victory was too impressive. His other two matches were straight sets losses against Bagnis and Djere.
DelBonis is not in his best form and hasn’t been at his optimal level for quite some time. He can have a few moments when he plays well, but can not sustain that level and has made quite a lot of errors over this past few weeks. He seems unable to match the consistency of a good player.
Munar should be able to take advantage of Delbonis’s ups and downs. The Spaniard is a good regularity player from the baseline and is entering Santiago in good form. Last week, Munar reached the quarterfinals in Buenos Aires as a qualifier, winning both of his matches on the main draw in straight sets (Diaz Acosta, Tiafoe) before making a good account of himself in a 2-6 5-7 defeat against Schwartzman.
If Munar brings the same level of play as he did last week, he should find it very comfortable to keep the ball in play with his smart aggressive baseline tactics and force errors from Delbonis.
The H2H is 3-1 for Munar and he has won the last 5 sets in this rivalry, so he has every reason to be confident ahead of this clash. I’m going to back the Spaniard to win. Prediction: Federico Delbonis – Jaume Munar 6-7 4-6.