Rafael Nadal opens his title defense tonight in Buenos Aires against friend Juan Monaco in a rematch of their 2015 final.
Nadal will make his clay court debut and appear in his first match since his shock first round loss last month at the Australian Open. The Spaniard is trying to avoid his first three-match losing streak since 2009.
Second seed David Ferrer is also in action against Renzo Olivo. Yesterday, American big man John Isner fell in his opener to Dusan Lajovic in a final set breaker. Isner curiously went to South America instead of Memphis and it didn’t pay off. The 25-year-old Lajovic never held a break point against Isner, but still managed to win 7-6(10), 4-6, 7-6(6).
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, though, made the most of his first clay match crushing Argentine favorite Leonardo Mayer 6-1, 6-2.
In Memphis, 3-time defending champion Kei Nishikori fended off Ryan Harrison 6-2, 7-5 to win his 14th straight match at the event.
“I actually playing very good, very solid today. The last two games were a bit of a struggle,” Nishikori said. “Usually I struggle the first couple of rounds here so this is the best start so far.”
Nishikori meets Mikhail Kukushkin tomorrow in the quarterfinals.
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