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Defending champion – Juan Monaco has been knocked out of the VTR Open, which really has been built as the return of Rafael Nadal to tennis. The Vina Del Mar event is for the first time being talked about as much as it has been just because of the highly anticipated return of the King of Clay.
Monaco, who had a stunning 2012 has had a poor start to this year and continues to drop points that he earned with a dogged determination last year. At the Aussie Open, Monaco lost to in the first round to Andrea Kuznetsov, and seems to be in a bit of a rut. On the other hand, for Rufin this is a huge step as he registered what is only his eleventh win at the professional level. Rufin defeated the reigning champion in straight sets 7-6,6-4.
In his next match, Rufin will face eighth seeded Carlos Berlocq from Argentina, who comes into the match having overcome some stiff resistance from Colombian Santiago Giraldo in three tight sets 7-5,4-6,6-4.
A pair of seeded Spaniards advanced in first-round action. No. 5 Albert Ramos defeated Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil 6-4, 6-1, while No. 7 Daniel Gimeno-Traver overcame Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
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