The Austrian gets his clay court legs under him nice and early as he takes the top seeding in Argentina. Despite struggling in the early part of the year with a virus Thiem started the season well enough with a run to the Doha semi-final but suffered a shock exit to Tennys Sandgren at the US Open, where he ought to have expected to have done much better.
Thiem won here on his debut, beating Rafael Nadal along the way, but potentially awaiting him in the second round could be Fernando Verdasco. Thiem has yet to get a win past the veteran Spaniard.
Fresh from Spanish Davis Cup duty, Carreno Busta was not particularly impressive on his first foray n the tour on the dirt, losing in his opener in Quito. He has his best run here last year, losing to the eventual champion Alexandr Dolgopolov in the semi-final.
He is set to face No. 6 seed Kyle Edmund in the quarter-final and has a 2-0 record over the Brit but Edmund’s confidence after his Australian Open semi-final ought to be high, and he has had plenty of time to rest the hip injury that kept him out of the Davis Cup tie against Spain.
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Fognini heads into the tournament after his Davis Cup duty, but he has had mixed fortunes at this tournament. Save for a run to the quarter-finals in 2013 and being the runner up the following year, he has rarely had back to back wins and the last three years has been bounced out in his opening round.
The Argentina Open takes place between 12-18 February
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