Delbonis vs Pella 02.07.17
Aspira Tennis Cup Trofeo, Milan, Italy, Clay Courts, ATP Challenger Tour
With tomorrow signalling the start of Wimbledon, all Final’s from this week’s grass court tournament’s were played yesterday, giving the Finalists a suitable rest period before the eagerly anticipated third Grand Slam of the season. There is however one Final being played today from the Challenger Tour, on the clay courts of Milan, Italy, as Argentine world number 97, Federico Delbonis and fellow countryman and world number 114, Guido Pella fight it out for the Aspira Tennis Cup Trofeo.
A tournament that we haven’t covered this week, but one that has been being played on the Tour since 2009, Albert Ramos Vinolas is the most decorated player to have played here, having won the event twice, in 2011 and 2014. Last years winner, Marco Cecchinato was beaten yesterday by Delbonis, who himself won the trophy here back in 2015. Pella knocked out another previous winner to be playing here this week, Tommy Robredo in the Semi Finals yesterday, Robredo tasted success here back in 2012.
Onto today’s encounter then…
These two have played each other just once before, back in 2013 on the clay courts of Vina Del Mar, Chile, Delbonis was the winner on that occasion, 2-6 7-6 7-6. Interestingly, Pella served for the match at 6-5 in the second set, but was broken and then went on to lose two consecutive tiebreaks.
Aspira Tennis Cup Trofeo Results So Far…
Delbonis beat Christopher O’Connell in Round 1, 6-3 6-1, before scrapping past Zdenek Kolar in Round 2, eventually winning 6-3 5-7 6-4 in nearly two and a half hours. The Quarter Finals saw Delbonis back to something near his best, as he brushed aside Uladzimir Ignatik 6-1 6-4. In yesterday’s Semi Final the Argentine faced up to Marco Cecchinato for the second time in a week, and this time the Italian did manage to take a set, but he fell apart in calamitous fashion in the decider, and Delboonis won through 6-1 4-6 6-0.
Pella beat Pedro Martinez Portero in Round 1, 6-1 7-6, Round 2 saw the Argentine’s opponent, Pedja Krstin take the first set 5-7, before Pella played some sublime tennis to take the next two, 6-1 6-1. The Quarter Final was an altogether easier affair, with Pella defeating Gianluca Mager, 6-1 6-1 in just over an hour. Yesterday’s semi Final looked to have three long sets written all over it, however the Spaniard, Tommy Robredo was very disappointing, as he struggled to contend with Pella’s attacking groundstrokes and swinging serves. Pella came through in an hour and a quarter, 6-3 6-4, having been broken just the once.
Delbonis’ serving stats this week look like this; he’s won 66% of his service points and held serve 82% of the time.
Guido’s serving stats this week look like this; he’s won 69% of his service points and held serve 90% of the time.
Both players are lefty’s, so both will be swinging the ball into each others forehands today. Delbonis relies on a high first serve % in order to help him comfortably win through his service games, as he doesn’t serve many unreturnables or aces. Pella on the other hand has the more powerful serve, and will find it easier to win more free points off his first delivery, he is also likely be leading the ace count right from the off today.
Delbonis’ returning stats this week look like this, he’s won 49% of his return points, 36% of his break points and opponents have held 51% of the time against him.
Pella’s returning stats this week look like this, he’s won 47% of his return points, 46% of his break points and opponents have held 55% of the time against him.
Both players will look to take full swings off the return, as they both stand well beyond the baseline to give themselves more time. Both will put plenty of balls back into play, however I can’t help feeling that Delobonis will need to improve on that break point conversion % today if he is going to break the Pella serve with any regularity.
Both are solid off both wings, Delbonis will hit with a heavy topspin forehand, giving the ball plenty of clearance over the net, whilst his backhand is often a slightly flatter hit, normally cross-court. He hits with measured consistency mostly from the back of the court, he will however venture into the net when he sees a chance to do so, and when there he hits a good, solid volley. Pella is the the more aggressive hitter of the two players, he has a strong, whippy forehand, where most of his winners will come from. Like Delbonis, he hits his backhand flat, and predominantly cross-court. Pella is the better athlete of the two players, and make more balls back into play when on the defensive.
I’m siding with Pella to win today, I think it will be a tight match, but i feel like he just has a few more weapons than Delbonis. Pella has a first serve % of 70% this week, and if he serves at anywhere near that today I just can’t see Delbonis breaking him often enough to win. Pella also is going to be using his extra firepower off the ground to dictate during the rallies, and when required will defend stoutly. Delbonis isn’t without a sniff though, he’s won here before, and is coming off the back of winning the title in Todi, Italy last week, so he’ll be full of confidence. Like yesterday, don’t be surprised to see three sets here today.
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