Benoit Paire was perfect under pressure on Wednesday evening to secure his first win of the season, eliminating Chilean Nicolas Jarry 6-2, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals of the Cordoba Open.
The second seed saved the eight break points he faced — all of which came in the second set — to triumph after one hour and 17 minutes. Paire now leads Jarry 4-0 in their ATP Head2Head series.
“I’m really happy because I didn’t make too many double faults. I saw I was number one at the Australian Open with only one match and 23 double faults, so really happy to save it,” said Paire, who hit four double faults against Jarry. “Even when I was under pressure in the second set, I tried to push a little bit more.
“I’m really happy about how I saved my break points in the second set and he made some mistakes on a few. But I was happy to fight. I didn’t say anything, I was just fighting and trying my best.”
The Frenchman will next face Federico Coria, the younger brother of former World No. 3 Guillermo Coria. At Roland Garros last year, the Argentine made the third round at Roland Garros on his tournament debut by beating Paire in the second round.
Photo Credit: Cordoba Open
Coria reached his second ATP Tour quarter-final with a 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory against fellow Argentine Francisco Cerundolo.
“I’m very happy, it’s very special for me. It was very hard to play against an Argentine and a friend. He has so much talent and I really admire him,” said Coria. “I started very nervous in the match, but with some errors by him I was able to play my game.”
The No. 95 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings, who reached the last eight at last year’s Rio Open presented by Claro, has proven a force on clay. Last September the 28-year-old qualified for his first ATP Masters 1000 main draw in Rome, where he reached the second round.
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Coria showed great form against Cerundolo, who has been on a tear on the ATP Challenger Tour. The World No. 135 had won 23 of his past 26 matches at all levels entering Wednesday’s action. In 2020, Cerundolo won three Challenger titles, matching #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz’s mark for the most at that level.
But Coria was the far better player behind his second serve in the final two sets, winning more than 71 per cent (15/21) of those points compared to 36 per cent for Cerundolo. Coria will try to reach his first ATP Tour semi-final.
Earlier in the day, Slovakian Jozef Kovalik beat Chilean qualifier Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in two hours and 12 minutes. Kovalik will next play qualifier Facundo Bagnis, who ousted eighth seed Federico Delbonis 6-4, 7-5 after one hour and 34 minutes.