Gaudio Ground Down on Clay at ATP Vina del Mar

Posted on February 2, 2006

Top-seeded Gaston Gaudio's claycourt season began with a whimper Wednesday when the Argentine was ousted 6-7(8), 6-1, 6-4 in the second round of play at the ATP claycourt stop in Vina del Mar by unheralded Spaniard Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo.

"Gaudio is a great player on clay and it was a hard match," said Ramirez-Hidalgo, looking forward to his next opponent. "I know (Al) Montanes well, we have played a lot, and I am sure he will be difficult, as are all rivals here."

Other winners Wednesday into the quarterfinals were homecountry favorite (5) Nicolas Massu (d. Marin), (6) Al Montanes (d. Ventura from a set down), and qualifier Carlos Cuadrado (d. (LL) Gimeno-Traver) reaching his career-first ATP quarterfinal.

On tap for Thursday on the red dirt are (3) Acasuso vs. (Q) Marcaccio in an all-Argentine, (WC) Aguilar vs. (Q) Friedl, the 17-year-old Del Potro vs. (2) Fernando "Gonzo" Gonzalez, and (8) Pashanski vs. Di Mauro.