The four ATP World Tour 250 tournaments taking place in South America throughout this month have been termed the ‘Golden Swing’ in honour of Chilean Olympic gold medalists Fernando Gonzalez and Nicolas Massu.
Appropriately, the first of these and the first clay court tournament of the year began in Santiago this week featuring a dual Portuguese challenge.
Frederico Gil faced a difficult task in former top 10 player and sixth seed Tommy Robredo and was beaten 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 but Algarvean Rui Machado should have had few problems in disposing of wild card entry Felipe Rios on his way to a second round showdown with No3 seed Thomaz Bellucci.
Machado has parted company with new coach Bernardo Mota and is currently charting his own path beyond his 90th position in the world.
The pair arrived in Chile from Australia where Novak Djokovic defeated Andrew Murray in straight sets to record his second Melbourne success.