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Gonzalez Wins Season Debut In Vina Del Mar

Viña del Mar, Chile

Berlocq© Jim RydellCarlos Berlocq is ranked a career high No. 55 this week in Viña del Mar.

Home favourite Fernando Gonzalez defeated Pere Riba 6-4, 6-4 in his opening match at the VTR Open in Viña del Mar Tuesday.

Gonzalez, sidelined with a knee injury for most of 2011, took the match in one hour and 28 minutes to win his 2012 season debut. The Chilean is a four-time tournament champion, having last triumphed in 2009 (d. Acasuso).

"Happy that I could play again with the Chilean crowd; I hadn't done it in a long time," said Gonzalez. "That was a dream and the fact that I could win made it even more special."

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No. 5 seed Albert Montanes dismissed qualifier Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 6-2, 6-4. Montanes, twice a semi-finalist at the ATP World Tour 250 event, converted six of his eight break point chances to defeat his countryman in one hour and 20 minutes.

Seventh seed Carlos Berlocq advanced to the second round, beating Daniel Gimeno-Traver 7-5, 6-0. Berlocq won 74 per cent of his second serve return points to break the Spaniard six times in the two hour and two minute victory.

The Argentine, a career high No. 55 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings this week, is a two-time quarter-finalist.

After splitting sets with Paolo Lorenzi, Frederico Gil took command of the match in the third set, breaking the Italian four times to win the hard-fought encounter 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 in two hours and 26 minutes. Gil finished the match eight for 22 on his break point opportunities.

Jeremy Chardy won an all-French meeting, beating Eric Prodon 6-4, 6-3. Chardy claimed 88 per cent of his first serve points to advance in one hour and 26 minutes.

Horacio Zeballos and qualifiers Rogerio Dutra Silva, Diego Junqueira and Federico Delbonis were also victorious in first-round action. 

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©Jim Rydell

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