Chileans Gonzo, Massu Head Dirt Field at ATP Vina del Mar
Posted on January 30, 2006
Seeds Carlos Berlocq and Boris Pashanski? Yikes.
Former French Open champ Gaston Gaudio heads the field this week in Chile at the Movistar Open in Vina del Mar where homegrown dirtballers Fernando "Gonzo" Gonzalez and Nicolas Massu round out the seasoned competitors before the field quality drops off the ledge into challenger territory.
Also among the seeds joining the household names Berlocq and Pashanski, who have never been seeded at or are accustomed to gaining direct entry into tour events, are tour "C"-squader Argentines Jose Acasuso and Agustin Calleri, and Spaniard Al Montanes.
In last year's final Gaudio raised the trophy after dismissing Gonzalez in straight sets.
Past champions in the field are Gaudio (2005) and Gonzalez (2004,'02).
Three-time French Open champion and 2000 Vina del Mar champ Gustavo Kuerten was ready to make his 2006 debut at the event before twisting his ankle late last week and withdrawing.
"It was a pity this happened right now," Kuerten said. "I was ready to compete."
Scheduled for Monday are Vicente vs. (4) Calleri, (1) Gaudio vs. (WC) Parada, (5) Massu vs. Daniel, Monaco vs. (6) Montanes, Del Potro vs. Portas, (WC) Aguilar vs. (WC) Hormazabal in an all-Chilean, (Q) Cuadrado vs. Behrend, and (Q) Marcaccio vs. Horna.