From qualifier and wild card to champion: Surprises at Argentina's tennis tournaments

There were two huge surprises at Argentina's tournaments recently.
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If something is so special about tennis it is that it can break anyone's expectations. Argentina's ATP 250 (Cordoba and Buenos Aires) concluded with not one but two new winners.

Before a tournament starts, nobody counts on qualifiers as serious candidates. Wild cards...only if a previous champion returns from injury.

Believe it or not, these premises have been broken in South America's clay. So who are these previously unknown winners then? Let's take a look.

Atp 250 Cordoba's Open Champion: Luciano Darderi

Born in Argentina, nationalized Italian. Darderi is a 22-year-old player who had previously participated in Acapulco and Cordoba last year. He made it first and second rounds, respectively.

Other than that, his activity mainly occurred at the Challenger level. Winning two matches before reaching the main draw was not an obstacle: he defeated world's No. 38 Sebastian Ofner and defending champion Baez in the semifinal. His last battle for the title went against another qualifier, Facundo Bagnis (curiously the oldest Argentinean to reach a tour final, at 33 years old).

There Luciano controlled all game with a solid 6-1, 6-4 to celebrate his first conquest. The victory came with a huge bonus: he climbed over 60 places in the ranking to reach the top 100 for the first time in his career.

Facundo Diaz Acosta replaces Carlos Alcaraz as the new king of Argentina's Open

Carlos Alcaraz and Cameron Norrie were the biggest candidates to win the Buenos Aires tournament. Especially 'Carlitos', being the defending champion. Even it was worth taking a shot at the master of the one-handed forehand, Stan Wawrinka. Neither of these scenarios happened.

Facundo Diaz Acosta, given a wild card by the organization of the tournament, took excellent profit from it and claimed his first title. Previously, Acosta gave a glimpse of what was in the making.
A couple of years ago, he won a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Games. This year, he forced Taylor Fritz, the world's No. 12, to a fifth set in the first round of the Australian Open. Also, before playing in Buenos Aires, he reached the quarterfinals in Cordoba.

What was really remarkable at Argentina's Open: Acosta won the final against No. 21 Nicolas Jarry, who had just defeated Carlos Alcaraz in the semifinals. With the title, Facundo has reached a record high of No. 59 in the ranking. He is currently playing at Rio and has already passed through Stan Wawrinka in the first round. As NBA commentator Kendrick Perkins would say, carry on.

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