Pablo Andujar and Daniel Galan Riveros will square off in the ATP Santiago second round on Thursday.
Andujar made his clay court season debut last week in Buenos Aires, playing well to reach the quarterfinals with wins over Londero and Mager. The Spaniard showed quite a high level of play in that tournament, including in his three set quarterfinal loss against the red hot Francisco Cerundolo. Andujar had a bye in the first round here, so this will be his first match of the week.
Galan Riveros needed two and a half hours to get past Altmaier in a first round marathon on Monday. The Colombian hasn’t been that good so far this season. He has a 3-3 record on clay, but his wins were unimpressive, coming against poor or out of form opposition (Robredo, Tirante, Altmaier). Meanwhile, he lost accessible matches against guys like Tabilo, Baez (that was expected) or Kovalik.
I watched a few of Galan’s performances on clay this year, and I was not impressed at all. Most of his matches were rather poor, against fellow struggling opponents, with a low level of play and many ups and downs from each competitor. Beating Altmaier in the first round here wasn’t too different, although Galan did play a decent match.
Andujar on the other hand looked sharp last week in Buenos Aires, and he only lost against eventual finalists Francisco Cerundolo, who has played lights out on clay this year. We know what Pablo can do on the red dirt, and even though he may not be at 100%, he looks in good form. Galan would have to be at his best and have a very clean game to challenge him – and he didn’t look to be at his best in any match this year.
Given that Andujar played his first clay court tournament of the year last week (and his first in South America) he should be even better here in Santiago, having gotten used to the clay and with the conditions.
The two players have not met before on tour.
I think we can expect good things from Andujar this week and I certainly expect him to dominate against an opponent like Galan, who is nothing more than average at the moment. I trust Andujar’s stability and superior quality today. In my eyes there’s no way he should be priced above 1.50, I expected something like 1.40-1.45, and even at those odds I would have thought about backing him. Prediction: Pablo Andujar – Daniel Galan Riveros 6-4 6-3.