The Tandil native got off to a solid start, taking his first two matches of the tournament in straight sets; the second against No. 5 seed Leonardo Mayer. Pico was on track to take his quarterfinal match against No. 3 seed Pablo Cuevas in straight sets as well, but a tense tiebreaker extended the outing into a decider. After two tight sets, Juan came out on top, taking the deciding set by serving out the match at love. Juan achieved the huge upset with five aces, five break points, and not a single double fault. The contest concluded at 7-6(1), 6-7(4), 6-4 in two hours and 38 minutes.
The semifinal saw Pico excel in another extended match against 2011 champion Nicolas Almagro. Stretching out into another decider, Juan vigorously made his way up from 0/40 at 5-4, sealing his way to the final at 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-4, saving 12 of 15 break points.
The final put Juan up against his good friend Rafael Nadal, where he saved five break points. This marks Juan’s second time placing as the finalist at the Argentina Open, along with winning the title in 2007. On the other end of the globe, another member of Team VCORE, Borna Coric (VCORE Tour F 97, POLYTOUR SPIN), made it to his second tour semifinal at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships this past week.
YONEX power hitters continue to confidently command the court with the VCORE series. Built with a unique grommet pattern, Juan’s VCORE Si bites down on the ball for an extra degree of spin, while Borna’s VCORE Tour F bestows players with an astounding 6% increase in serve speed due to its aerodynamic frame head. Equipped with this original technology, the VCORE series gives powerful players the extra boost they need crush competition.
Check out Juan Monaco in the VCORE Tour F Speed Test video.
*Photo of Juan taken at the 2015 Australian Open