The 2014 Copa Claro was the third stop on the ATP Tour’s Latin America trip, and the clay surface of the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club was the perfect backdrop for the exciting tournament.
No. 1 seed David Ferrer defeated No. 2 seed Fabio Fognini in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, to win the tournament championship.
The Argentinean haven for tennis had been dominated by native sons over the years, with nine of the 12 Copa Claro tournaments being won by an Argentine player. Former champions Juan Monaco and Nicolas Almagro led a star-studded field into the marquee tournament.
Not only was there a plethora of former champions in the field, but bona fide stars like Ferrer, Fognini and Tommy Robredo also added to the competition with their elite play and mainstream notoriety.
Ferrer spoke about playing in the 2014 event before it began, per ATPWorldTour.com: "I'm happy to confirm that I will play Copa Claro and I'm very glad to play again in front of Buenos Aires crowd."
Ferrer won his third career Copa Claro trophy against arguably the deepest field in years.
*Statistics courtesy of ATP World Tour website.
Day 7 Results
No. 1 David Ferrer defeated No. 2 Fabio Fognini, 6-4, 6-3
Day 7 Recap
In the championship that everyone watching the 2014 Copa Claro wanted, Spanish No. 1 seed David Ferrer defeated Italian No. 2 seed Fabio Fognini by a score of 6-4, 6-3 to win the championship in straight sets.
The difference in the matchup was Ferrer’s dominance on the second service and the second return. While Fognini was strong off the initial serve and matched up well in his first return, it was Ferrer that outlasted and overpowered his challenger.
Ferrer won 72 percent of his second return points and 73 percent of his second service, as opposed to 26 and 27 percent respectively for Fognini.
While many tennis fans had hoped the battle between No. 1 and No. 2 seeds would have spawned a closer matchup, the battle between Ferrer and Fognini was an interesting game that once again proved the dominance of the Spanish champion.
Add the 2014 Copa Claro trophy, and Ferrer has started 2014 with serious momentum.
Day 6 Results
No. 2 Fabio Fognini def. No. 3 Tommy Robredo; 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
No. 1 David Ferrer def. No. 4 Nicolas Almagro; 6-4, 6-2
Fabio Fognini dropped the first set to Tommy Robredo before fighting back to win the last two, earning himself a spot in the championship match in the process. It will mark his seventh career final on the ATP Tour. He's 3-3 in the previous six, all but one which came on clay, as is the case this week.
Fognini got the win thanks to some strong returning. He generated 13 break points and converted five of them to pick up the victory in just under two hours. Robredo got four breaks, but wasn't able to secure another to get back on serve in the deciding set before the Italian closed it out.
The second semifinal seen top-seeded David Ferrer squeak past Nicolas Almagro in straight sets. It was a typical workmanlike performance from the veteran Spaniard, who was efficient on break points and and came up with key serves when he needed them.
Almagro fell behind early in the second chance and his last real opportunity to get back into the match came at 3-1 with Ferrer on serve. He had a couple break point chances but couldn't convert, and Ferrer never looked back as he heads to the final.
Day 5 Results
No. 4 Nicolas Almagro def. No. 8 Joe Chardy; 7-6 (9-7), 6-3
No. 1 David Ferrer def. Albert Ramos; 6-1, 6-2
No. 2 Fabio Fognini def. Pablo Andujar; 6-4, 6-3
No. 3 Tommy Robredo def. No. 6 Robin Haase; 6-1, 2-0 (retired)
There were no surprises seeding-wise in Day 5 of the tournament, as the quarterfinals ticked on woth the top four seeds still intact.
No. 1 David Ferrer only lost three games all match in his straight set drubbing of Albert Ramos, whose unseeded run will come to a close against the tournament's top player—and the Spaniard is playing worthy of that title.
Meanwhile, Fabio Fognini is lurking for a potential championship match and he proved to be too much for Pablo Andujar in his quarterfinal win, 6-4, 6-3. He let his opponent hang around in each set, but never lost control of the match.
Nicolas Almagro and Tommy Robredo both won to round out the group of four players who will move on to the semifinal round and look to get one step closer to a championship.
Day 4 Results
Round of 16
Albert Ramos def. Filippo Volandri; 6-2, 6-1
No. 1 David Ferrer def. Santiago Giraldo; 6-4, 7-6 (7-1)
No. 4 Nicolas Almagro def. Daniel Gimeno-Traver; 1-6, 7-5, 6-4
No. 8 Jeremy Chardy def. Alexandr Dolgopolov; 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3)
Top overall seed David Ferrer took care of business in straight sets in the round of 16 on Friday, dismantling Colombia's Santiago Giraldo in straight sets.
Giraldo proved to be a tough test against the Spaniard throughout both sets, winning 10 combined games within the two sets. But it wasn't enough to top the No. 1 seed in the tournament, as Ferrer stood tall past the test and advanced.
The other two highly-seeded players also advanced, but not without a tough fight. Both Nicolas Almagro and Jeremy Chardy got through to the quarterfinal round in three-set showdowns.
Almagro got throttled in his first set, losing 1-6, but bounced back to win the next two in tight fashion.
Chardy picked up the first set and dropped the second, but was able to pull out the third in a tiebreak.
Day 3 Results
Round of 32
Nicolas Almagro (4) def. Horacio Zeballos, 6-2, 7-5
Alexandr Dolgopolov def. Pablo Cuevas, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(5)
Jeremy Chardy (8) def. Alejandro Gonzalez, 6-4, 7-5
Daniel Gimeno-Traver def. Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo, 7-5, 6-2
Round of 16
Fabio Fognini (2) def. Leonardo Mayer, 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-2
Tommy Robredo (3) def. Guido Pella, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
Pablo Andujar def. Marcel Granollers (5), 6-3, 6-0
Robin Haase (6) def. Carlos Berlocq, 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-2
There weren't a ton of surprises on Day 3 of the Copa Claro. Five of the six seeds to start out play on the day went through to the next round.
The lone seeded player to lose was Marcel Granollers. The 27-year-old Spaniard had a dreadful time on serve. He won only seven of his 26 points on second serve and surrendered 15 break-point opportunities, with Pablo Andujar winning six of them.
Andujar saw an opening and didn't let up.
Second seed Fabio Fognini passed what was a tough test against Leonardo Mayer. The Italian dropped the first set in a tiebreaker, but recovered well from there to push aside Mayer in the second and third sets.
Nicolas Almagro, Jeremy Chardy, Robin Haase and Tommy Robredo were the other seeded players to have won on Wednesday. The former two prevailed in straight sets. Haase, stumbled a bit in the second before regaining his stride in the third, while Robredo needed a wake-up call in the first before taking over in the second and third.
Day 2 Results
David Ferrer (1) def. Maximo Gonzalez, 7-6 (7), 6-4.
Filippo Volandri, def. Christian Garin, 5-7, 6-0, 6-3.
Robin Haase (6), def. Martin Alund, 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3.
Santiago Giraldo, def. Albert Montanes, 7-6 (4), 6-2.
Leonardo Mayer, def. Facundo Arguello, 6-3, 6-4.
Fabio Fognini (2), def. Julian Reister, 7-5, 6-2.
Albert Ramos Defeated Juan Monaco (7), 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-2
Day 2 Recap
The big dogs took to the courts on Day 2 at Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club, with the results being about what most would expect. That said, there was one nice surprise as a top player was upended by an underdog.
David Ferrer was the most noteworthy name in action as he cruised past Argentina's Maximo Gonzalez with relative ease. The tournament is Ferrer's stomping grounds with him being the two-time defending champ, so this win was a likely indicator he is in top form at one of his best locales. Next up on Ferrer's menu is Santiago Giraldo.
No. 2 seed Fabio Fognini made short work of Gemany's Julian Reister. If a competitor is truly going to rise and challenge Ferrer's crown, it will be the Italian, who is on quite a roll after winning the Royal Guard Open recently.
Finally, No. 6 seed Robin Haase moved past Martin Alund in a lengthy affair. The upset of the day saw No. 7 seed Juan Monaco fall at the hands of Albert Ramos in an entertaining affair.
Day 1 Results
Tommy Robredo (3) defeats Pablo Carreno Busta; 6-4, 6-4
Marcel Granollers (5) defeats Aljaz Bedene; 7-5, 3-6, 6-2
Martin Alund defeats Andreas Haider-Maurer; 6-3, 4-6, 6-1
Maximo Gonzalez defeats Guilherme Clezar; 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
Christian Garin defeats Gerald Melzer; 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo defeats Nicholas Monroe; 7-6 (5), 6-0
Carlos Berlocq defeats Joao Sousa; 6-4, 6-2
Guido Pella defeats Guillermo Garcia-Lopez; 7-6 (6), 6-4
Pablo Andujar defeats Federico Delbonis; 3-6, 7-5, 6-1
Day 1 Recap
Day 1 of the 2014 Copa Claro was the first full day of qualifying for the tournament. The first set of matchups has been action-packed and set the tone for the rest of the tournament.
While most of the top names had the day off to continue preparations for the event, several underdogs who could contend for the championship this week performed well on the opening day.
Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo looked as strong as ever with a lopsided victory over American Nicholas Monroe, 7-6 (5), 6-0. Both Maximo Gonzalez and Christian Garin also managed to sneak out a three-set victory over their qualifying round challengers.
A pair of seeded players were in action on Day 1 as well as Spanish favorites Tommy Robredo and Marcel Granollers each advanced to the second round.
With a great start to an exciting Day 1 of action, tennis fans will be excited for the conclusion of the qualifying round on Day 2.