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Cecchinato vs Schwartzman ATP Buenos Aires live streaming, preview and tips - Cecchinato and Schwartzman aiming for third ATP title

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 17 Feb 2019
  • Marco Cecchinato vs Diego Schwartzman is live from Buenos Aires at 2.00pm local time on Sunday (5.00pm GMT)
  • First tour-level meeting between the pair
Marco Cecchinato (Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)

Top 20 players Marco Cecchinato and Diego Schwartzman battle it out for the ATP 250 Argentina Open title on Sunday in Buenos Aires.

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Both third seed Marco Cecchinato and fourth seed Diego Schwartzman have won two ATP clay-court titles - who emerges victorious with a third piece of silverware in the Argentina Open final on Sunday?

French Open semi-finalist and World No. 18 Cecchinato has advanced into the Buenos Aires final without dropping a set in victories over Christian Garin, Roberto Carballes Baena and Guido Pella. The Italian played his best match of the week in Saturday’s semi-final clash with home favourite Pella, who arrived at the tournament on the back of a runner-up finish in Cordoba last week - and perhaps that run caught up to the Argentine, with Cecchinato completely untroubled throughout the 6-4 6-2 win, winning 37 out of 52 service points and not facing a break point during the 69-minute triumph.

Nobody would have predicted this kind of rise for Cecchinato at this stage of the season last year, especially after match-fixing allegations threatened to derail his career in 2017 (and indeed they still could, with investigations still reportedly ongoing as the Italian was granted a return to the tour on a fortunate technicality). Nevertheless, Cecchinato has played some tremendous tennis to earn his spot among the game’s elite, starting with his first ATP title as a lucky loser in Budapest last season (beating John Millman in the final) and hitting another level altogether with his magical run to the French Open semi-finals, where he came back from two sets down in his opening round to beat Marius Copil 10-8 in the fifth before wins over Marco Trungelliti, Pablo Carreno Busta, David Goffin and Novak Djokovic. Dominic Thiem proved too strong in the semi-finals, but Cecchinato had all of a sudden risen from No. 72 before the tournament to No. 27.

Cecchinato proved that run wasn’t a fluke by winning his second ATP title on the clay of Umag, but he did struggle to translate his clay-court form over to hardcourt, winning just four of his last 15 matches to end the season, but his excellent showings on the dirt was enough to keep him inside the top 20. The 26-year-old has continued to rise in 2019, hitting a career-high mark of No. 18 after beginning the season with a semi-final finish in Doha, although his form prior to Buenos Aires wasn’t too flash as he lost in the opening rounds of Auckland, the Australian Open and Cordoba. But the Italian is back to his best in Buenos Aires - can he improve his record in ATP finals to 3-0 on Sunday?

Diego Schwartzman (Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)
Diego Schwartzman will have something to say about that. The diminutive Argentine produced a phenomenal effort to book his place in his first tour-level in his home country, coming back from 1-4 down in the deciding set of his semi-final showdown with top seed and French Open runner-up Dominic Thiem and also saving a match point to hand the defending champion his first loss at the Argentina Open. The Austrian twice put himself in a commanding position to win when he led 4-2 in the second set and 4-1 in the third, but Schwartzman used his tremendous foot speed and returning ability to fight back on both occasions, winning four straight games in the second to level the match and clawing back to 5-4 in the decider to have a chance to serve for the match. This time it would be Thiem who would mount a comeback of his own, breaking back immediately before going on to create a match point as Schwartzman served to stay in the match at 5-6. The Argentine saved it with a forehand winner and sealed the 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(5) win when Thiem hit a forehand error in the ensuing tiebreak.


It was the second three-set match that Schwartzman has battled through this week after also going the distance against Aljaz Bedene in the opening round, while he also beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1 7-5 in the quarter-finals.

Schwartzman took his game to another level towards the closing stages of 2017 when he made his first Masters 1000 and Grand Slam quarter-finals in Canada and the U.S. Open, while he also won the ATP 500 title in Rio de Janiero last year and reached his second major quarter-final at the French Open, beating Kevin Anderson in five sets and taking a set off Rafael Nadal before succumbing in four. The 26-year-old has enjoyed a solid start to 2019, making the semi-finals of Sydney, the third round of the Australian Open and the quarter-finals of Cordoba last week.

Cecchinato and Schwartzman haven’t played before at tour-level, with their only previous meeting coming at a Challenger event back in 2013, which the Argentine won. Cecchinato has gone on to cement himself as one of the world’s leading clay-courters over the last 12 months and has been playing great tennis this week, but I’m going to lean on the side of Schwartzman for this one. The Argentine will have tremendous support and his returning game - which is easily top five in the world - will help him sink his teeth into Cecchinato’s service games, something Pella wasn’t able to do in the semi-finals. If he’s not to exhausted from his exploits on Saturday - he also teamed up with Thiem to make the doubles final later that night - Schwartzman could be headed for a third ATP title on Sunday.


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Cecchinato vs Schwartzman ATP Buenos Aires live streaming, preview and tips - Cecchinato and Schwartzman aiming for third ATP title

Top 20 players Marco Cecchinato and Diego Schwartzman battle it out for the ATP 250 Argentina Open title on Sunday in Buenos Aires.

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