Saturday, March 2, 2024

ATP Cordoba Final Prediction: Facundo Bagnis vs Luciano Darderi

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It is an all-qualifier final for the record books at this year’s Cordoba Open. Home player Facundo Bagnis ranked #207, will play world #136 Luciano Darderi of Italy on Sunday. It is another striking reminder that this ATP 250 tournament does not follow the script. So, who will be crowned champion?

ATP Cordoba Final Predicion

Facundo Bagnis vs Luciano Darderi

Head-to-head: Bagnis 1-1 Darderi

We are guaranteed a first-time ATP champion. And the remarkable trend is set to continue at the Cordoba Open, in which two of the last five winners topped a tour-level podium for the first time in this historic city. Facundo Bagnis has been on the professional scene since 2007 but has never lifted an ATP title. He has contested an ATP final before, in Santiago, three years ago and lost agonizingly in three sets (7-5 in the third). But he has turned back time this week, cruising through qualifying and toppling compatriot Federico Coria to reach the final. He has not lost a set in all six matches.

Luciano Darderi, meanwhile, is playing in his first ATP final. Like Bagnis, he navigated the qualifying draw. Although he is relatively inexperienced (just 21 years old) at this level (one main draw win on the ATP Tour before this week), he was among the breakout stars on the Challenger Tour in 2023. He captured two titles on the ATP’s second tier and is more at home on clay. His dramatic three-set win over defending champion Sebastian Baez in the semifinal means he cannot be underestimated.

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Nerves will likely play a factor in this one. Bagnis has a wealth of experience, but that’s probably the only tiny bit of advantage he has going into this match. It could be argued he has faced a slightly less demanding route to the final, with the highest-ranked opponent being world #65 Roberto Carballes Baena. Darderi is assured a Top 100 debut on Monday, and it would be a monumental achievement for him if he can also top it off with a title win. It is a match where both players have an equal shot of winning. The veteran Bagnis has momentum (winner of Buenos Aires Challenger last month) and all the staple ingredients of claycourt combat. He’s been in the game for far too long that he senses this is his golden moment.
Prediction: Bagnis in 3

Main Photo Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

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