Here we are, this is a tournament preview and yes there are plenty of mentions of the Gaudio, so either it could be very invigorating or tepid depending on the viewpoint.
Now the Latin American swing is heating up with the best two tournaments in Buenos Aires and Acapulco coming up next week. These are the events with the best fields and unlike Costa da Sauipe, there will be people in the stadium and give the place some atmosphere.
This leads to the biggest moment of the week the return of Gaston Gaudio to the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club, this is the definite highlight of the week, well this and King Oscar at the event as well. Gaudio has had a tough time recently, he had some injury problems with the ankle, but a bigger factor was that he was mentally burnt out and this impacted on his tennis. It's not difficult to fathom that if you are unhappy in your place of work or have other distractions, then it's going to impact in other areas, it was a good thing that Gaudio took a break from the game, had fun, played poker, went skiing.
The crowd reaction will be interesting, as he has been able to bring out the extreme reactions of his countrymen. After the Malaga Davis Cup fiasco, he was booed, jeered and heckled, then after he came from nowhere and won Roland Garros, he was feted and embraced as hero. The circle is almost complete, he got booed off the court when he played poorly against Ramirez-Hidalgo. At the end of last year at the Argentine Cup exho, where Gaston came back and won a couple of matches, he had the crowd eating out of his hand. It takes a unique individual to create such reactions.
Great that Jaite hasn't forgotten what Gaston has done for tennis in Argentina and giving him a wildcard, and he will be play the very likeable Daniel Gimeno-Traver. It could have been a lot worse, Dani hasn't been in great form, but this is his surface and has a massive and heavy forehand. Gaston will have to get to his backhand and if he can engage in the BH/BH rallies, then he has a big chance to win the match. At the same time, the results aren't relevant as long as Gaston can enjoy his tennis and not suffering like he is having his teeth pulled without anaesthetic.
This tournament isn't just about the Gaudio, there are some other good matches and names here. Nalbandian is back defending his title from last year and needs to make up for the disappointment of his early exit at the Aus Open, also a possible second round match with Gaudio does look tasty.
Calleri, who hasn't been in great form for the last few months, usually plays well at this event and he is up against Ferrero. He should always have positive memories of the beatdown he gave the then number 1 in the world, it would be too much to expect something like this, though a good run here is needed to get a confidence boost.
Chucho Acasuso, has been twice a losing finalist here, though he lost to Guga and Nalbandian, not exactly two monkeys of the sport. He has started the season well, though he had a poor loss to Boredo in Brazil, he should have freshened up a bit. Gaby Markus has to work the big man hard, lets see what happens here.
As for the others the King got "El Cabezon " Almagro in the first round, it won't be easy for Oscar, maybe he can get the crowd on his side and they can heckle Big Head, get him off his game. Oscar has had a tough start to the year and needs to get a W on the board, it's all about that precious commodity confidence, some habits are better than others.
Cool that Escopeta Roitman got the third wild card, he is in a similar situation to Hernandez, he didn't do that much at the start of last year, so he doesn't have a great amount to defend, part of the fun of the main tour. Too bad the cool dudes of Brzezicki, who blew his match against Maxi Gonzalez and Zabaleta couldn't make it through, though Cuevas and Koellerer is definitely an interesting qualie match.
Forza Seppi, time to get back on track.