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ATP Buenos Aires - Nicolas Almagro vs. Federico Delbonis (17:00 GMT)

Crunch Sports Staff in Tennis 23 February 2012
Nicolas Almagro (credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Nicolas Almagro continues with the defence of his ATP Buenos Aires title when he takes on Federico Delbonis today.

The defending champion has had a busy few weeks, flying straight from Davis Cup duty to join the Golden Swing in Sao Paulo. Always a popular event with the local fans, Almagro triumphed to claim his 11th career title in front of a packed stadium.

But there's been little chance for the Spaniard to rest. This is a crucial period of the season for him as he has plenty of ATP points to defend and he doesn't fare so well once the tour moves to the outdoor hard courts in the States.

Almagro's 2011 run saw him win titles in Costa Do Sauipe and Buenos Aires before finishing runner-up to David Ferrer in Acapulco, but he came close to crashing out in the first round this week, scraping past experienced Italian Potito Starace 4-6 6-3 7-6 on Tuesday, smashing seven aces in the process. 

Delbonis came through qualifying before defeating Frederico Gil 6-2 6-2 in round one. It's hard to see him troubling Almagro, one of the most accomplished players when it comes to these ATP 250 clay-court events.

Prediction: Almagro in two.

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