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Pella vs Londero ATP Cordoba live streaming, preview and tips - Argentine champion guaranteed as Pella and Londero battle for first ATP title

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 10 Feb 2019
  • Guido Pella vs Juan Ignacio Londero is live from Cordoba at 7.00pm local time on Sunday (10.00pm GMT)
  • First tour-level meeting between the pair
Guido Pella (Photo by ANDRES LARROVERE/AFP/Getty Images)

An all-Argentine final awaits at the inaugural Cordoba Open on Sunday as eighth seed Guido Pella takes on wildcard Juan Ignacio Londero for the title.

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Either Guido Pella or Juan Ignacio Londero will win a first ATP World Tour title when the two countrymen clash in the Cordoba Open final on Sunday.

Pella has been in impressive touch this week in Cordoba, losing just one set on his way to the final - and that came during Saturday night’s semi-final showdown with Pablo Cuevas, who was playing his second match of the day after rain postponed his quarter-final with Aljaz Bedene on Friday. The Uruguayan was clearly fatigued and Pella took advantage, storming through the opening set, but Cuevas fought and scrapped his way into the contest and managed to force a deciding set. However, Pella stepped up and began dictating play with his left-handed forehand, targeting the one-handed backhand of Cuevas and gradually wearing him down in a 6-1 3-6 6-3 victory, much to the delight of the home fans.

With straight sets wins over noted clay-court specialists Paolo Lorenzi, Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Diego Schwartzman earlier in the week, Pella is nicely-positioned to claim a maiden ATP title after three runner-up finishes in Rio de Janeiro (2016), Munich (2017) and Umag, with all of those finals also coming on clay.

Pella has been a solid ATP player for quite a long time now, reaching a career-high ranking of No. 39 in 2016 on the back of reaching his first tour-level final at the 500-level event in Rio (beating Dominic Thiem and John Isner before losing to Cuevas in the final), while he made his second ATP final in 2017 on the clay of Munich, going down to Alexander Zverev. Pella also toppled Thiem on his way to the Chengdu semi-finals in the same season, while two Challenger titles in Milan and Bucaramanga capped another great year on tour for the Argentine.


The 28-year-old continued to make small steps in the right direction in 2018, scoring the biggest win of his career when he defeated World No. 5 Marin Cilic in the second round of Wimbledon, coming back from two sets down, while he also made the aforementioned final in Umag before going down to French Open semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato. Ending the 2018 season with a Challenger triumph in Montevideo, Pella only won one match in his first three tournaments of the year in Doha, Auckland and the Australian Open, but he’s looking in ominous form here in Cordoba.



Meanwhile, Juan Ignacio Londero is enjoying a dream week in Cordoba - the city 50km from where he was born in Jesus Maria, Argentina. Incredibly, the 25-year-old had never won a match at tour-level before this week and only posted two wins over 100 players, but he’s put together a sensational run to make his first ATP final without dropping a set, beating Nicolas Jarry, Lorenzo Sonego, Pedro Cachin and Federico Delbonis. Londero was on fire against a tired Delbonis in Saturday’s semi-finals, crushing his compatriot 6-1 6-0.

“It's all very crazy,” Londero said. “I'm really not aware of what I'm doing this week, that's the truth.
“I came to the tournament knowing that I was playing well... I came with the expectations of knowing that I could pass a few rounds, but I could not see myself in the final,” he continued. “I did not see myself far away. Last year I won two Challengers, [reached] one final. I was there to be able to make the jump to ATP Tournaments as well.”

Londero is the first player to make an ATP final when winning his first tour-level match at the same tournament since Luca Vanni in Sao Paolo in 2015. On Sunday, he will attempt to become the first player to win an ATP tournament under that scenrario since Steve Darcis in Amersfoort in 2007. Unsurprisingly, Londero played predominantly on the Challenger circuit in 2018, winning two titles in Mexico City and Marburg, while he also finished runner-up in Tampere and made semi-finals in Sarasota and Panama City. After starting last year at No. 363 in the world, Londero will crack the top 100 for the first time courtesy of reaching the Cordoba Open final and would break into the top 75 with the title.

Pella has won their three previous meetings, all on clay, at Futures and Challenger level, but their last class came all the way back in 2014 - and it’s safe to say a lot has changed since then. Regardless, I think Pella is the big favourite in this one. His left-handed forehand was intimidating in his semi-final win over Cuevas, with Pella striking it with precise accuracy and with loaded heaviness, forcing his opponent metres behind the baseline as he took control of points. Londero can’t afford to fall into the same pattern on Sunday, but that’s easier said than done. I’m backing the more experienced Argentine to come through and win a first ATP title.


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Pella vs Londero ATP Cordoba live streaming, preview and tips - Argentine champion guaranteed as Pella and Londero battle for first ATP title

An all-Argentine final awaits at the inaugural Cordoba Open on Sunday as eighth seed Guido Pella takes on wildcard Juan Ignacio Londero for the title.

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