Buenos Aires (Argentina), March 6, 2021: The “Golden Swing” is turning into the “Cerundolo Swing”.
One week ago, Juan Manuel Cerundolo made a dream run to the Cordoba Open title. On Friday in Buenos Aires, his older brother, Francisco Cerundolo, advanced to his first ATP Tour semi-final. The qualifier rallied past sixth seed Pablo Andujar 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 to reach the last four at the Argentina Open.
“I think it’s been two amazing weeks for me, for my brother, for my family, for Argentine tennis players and fans. I think what my brother did last week was unreal,” Cerundolo told ATPTour.com. “It inspired me and many other players that are coming from lower rankings that we have the level to play these type of matches.”
Including qualifying, this was Cerundolo’s sixth win of the week. The World No. 137 has upset third seed Benoit Paire and now four-time ATP Tour titlist Andujar in the main draw. But the 22-year-old almost didn’t make it into the main draw at all. He needed three sets in two of his three qualifying matches.
“I’m really happy that I passed the qualies here because it’s always tough to pass the qualies,” Cerundolo said. “Now I’m in the semi-finals.”
Cerundolo began last week’s Cordoba Open without an ATP Tour win, just like his brother, Juan Manuel, who lifted the trophy. But Francisco’s performance during the stretch has been less surprising. He won 17 of his final 19 ATP Challenger Tour matches in 2020, claiming titles in Split, Guayaquil and Campinas.
It’s fitting that his breakout on the big stage has come at home in Buenos Aires. Cerundolo will try to keep it going on Saturday against fifth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
“This is my favourite tournament by far, so it’s a blast to have my family and my friends here because we only play two or three weeks here in Argentina. Having them here, it’s amazing,” Cerundolo said. “It always inspires me and motivates me, so I’m really happy that I can give them some wins and make them happy. I want to continue tomorrow and play my best.”
Earlier in the day, Ramos-Vinolas outlasted first-time ATP Tour quarter-finalist Sumit Nagal 4-6, 6-2, 7-5. The Spanish veteran broke serve four times from five opportunities to advance after two hours and 26 minutes. Ramos-Vinolas reached the Cordoba final last week.
Did You Know?
The Cerundolo Brothers are trying to become the seventh pair of brothers to win singles titles in the Open Era and the first to do so in consecutive weeks.