Giraldo wins Vina del Mar opener

4:27 PM, Feb 4, 2013   |    comments
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Vina del Mar, Chile (Sports Network) - Former finalist Santiago Giraldo posted a first-round victory Monday at the $410,000 VTR Open.

The Colombian Giraldo came from behind to beat Argentine Martin Alund, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, in just over two hours on the red clay at Club Naval de Campo Las Salinas.

Giraldo was the runner-up at this event two years ago in Santiago.

The top seeds here are former world No. 1 star Rafael Nadal and reigning champion Juan Monaco, who is Nadal's doubles partner this week. Both players received opening-round byes.

Nadal will play his first tennis since last June after being sidelined with a knee injury. The Spanish great, who owns 11 Grand Slam titles, including a record seven French Open championships in the Open Era, will appear in a South American tournament for the first time since 2005, when he won a title in Brazil as a spry 18-year-old.

Monaco beat Carlos Berlocq in last year's all-Argentine Vina del Mar finale and was the runner-up at this event in 2008 and 2010.

Vina del Mar kicks off the "Golden Swing" portion of the ATP calendar in Latin America.

This week's winner will collect $74,000.

The Sports Network

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