The Dominican Republic’s 37-year-old Victor Estrella Burgos transforms to Superman every February for the Ecuador Open, but Superman almost met his kryptonite on Monday in Quito.
Estrella Burgos, who has won the title the last three years, on Monday in his opening round edged Thomaz Bellucci 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. It was the fourth year in a row Estrella Burgos faced Bellucci after beating him in the 2015 semifinals, the 2016 final, and the 2017 semis.
Can he do it again this year? The world No. 86 Estrella Burgos entered Quito 0-2 this week after losses at Doha and the Australian Open. The Dominican has never won another tour title outside the Ecuador Open.
Other notable results Monday were 28-year-old Slovak qualifier Andrej Martin defeating veteran Rogerio Dutra Silva, and 18-year-old French wildcard Corentin Moutet topping Adrian Menendez-Maceiras.
Among the seeds in Quito, No. 10-ranked Pablo Carreno Busta is joined by Albert Ramos Vinolas, Gael Monfils, Paolo Lorenzi, Horacio Zeballos, Estrella Burgos, Ivo Karlovic and Nicolas Jarry.
Prior to Monday the biggest Quito news was Monfils arriving with a new hair style.
This Ecuador Open is the opening leg of the five-tournament claycourt “Golden Swing” swing through Latin America, and the first of 21 ATP World Tour claycourt events in 2018.
Withdrawing from the event were Alexandr Dolgopolov, Nicolas Kicker, Tommy Robredo, and outspoken social media maven Tennys Sandgren.
Estrella Burgos in last year’s final edged Lorenzi 6-7(2), 7-5, 7-6(6).
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