Tag: adelaide international

2021 Adelaide International: Swiatek dominates final to claim second career title

IGA Swiatek has backed up her maiden title win at Roland Garros last year with a dominant 66-minute display against second seed Belinda Bencic in the 2021 Adelaide International final. Swiatek won 6-2 6-2 in an ultra-impressive performance that saw the 19-year-old claim the win. Remarkably, Swiatek did not drop a set throughout the entire 2021 tournament and has now risen to world number 15.

“For sure, there is something that clicks,” Swiatek said of her dominant run. “Not only in my head but also tennis-wise. “I feel pretty good on court. I feel like sometimes I have weeks when everything clicks, and that’s just the effect of the work we’re doing.”

Swiatek was unbeatable on serve, dropping just two points for the entire match off her first serve, and four points off her second serve. By comparison, Bencic only won 60.6 per cent and 36.4 per cent of her first and second serve points, broken four times by her young opponent and unable to create a break point opportunity.

“I struggled a lot today with how different she played,” Bencic said post-match. “I just couldn’t figure out her patterns or her serve or anything at all.

“It’s the unpredictable-ness. “I think she plays everything just little bit different than I’m expecting. “So not the usual patterns which you would expect. I think I’m a pretty good anticipator. “But today it was a little bit off – of course, thanks to her game.

“Then I think she plays with much more spin and heaviness. Also the balls you think you can reach are just jumping over you. “It makes it harder to make a defence, to counterpunch.”

After remarkably winning her maiden title at Roland Garros last year, Swiatek eyed off being more consistent in 2021, something she can tick off early in the year, and a goal she hoped to continue throughout the season.

“It’s good for me because I can see that I can play good tennis for the whole week,” she said. “It wasn’t like one time during the French Open. “It gives me more confidence that I’m more developed [as a] player and I can play good more often. It just gives me motivation.

“Our goal right now is to have that more often, because I know I can play great tennis. “It’s just all about planning, aiming for the specific tournament to have the best shape possible.”

Picture credit: Getty Images

2021 Adelaide International: Bencic to face Swiatek in decider

A BLOCKBUSTER Adelaide International final will see two of the WTA Tour’s up-and-comers face off in a highly anticipated clash following semi-finals results. Second seed Belinda Bencic will take on fifth seed Iga Swiatek after both players took out unseeded opponents yesterday.

Second seed Bencic had to dig deep against teenage sensation Coco Gauff, winning after two tiebreakers were shared before either player, before racing away to salute in the third set, 7-6 6-7 6-2 in two hours and 45 minutes. In a match that featured pretty shocking consistency on serve, the pair produced 43 double faults between them (23-20 in Gauff’s favour) with the American serving eight more aces (14-6).

Unsurprisingly with the inconsistency on serve, both had plenty of chances to break, and Bencic broke nine of 25 chances, while Gauff broke six of 15 opportunities. In total, 15 of the 32 games went the way of the receiver, which is nearly unheard of at the top level. The second seed’s ability to win 62 to 55.3 per cent of her service points, as well as 44.7 compared to 38.0 per cent upon return was the difference.

Fifth seed Swiatek booked her spot in the final by taking down Bencic’s compatriot, Jil Teichmann. The Polish Roland Garros winner needed just 81 minutes to dispose of Switzerland’s second highest ranked player, winning 6-3 6-2 in style. Unlike the other semi-final, both players were fairly consistent on serve, but Swiatek was unflappable, only facing one break point and saving it. Teichmann, on the other hand, was broken three times from eight chances.

The strength on service was obvious for Swiatek, who won 77.1 and 58.8 per cent of her first and second serve points off a 67.3 per cent efficiency. Teichmann also won 79.3 per cent off her first serve, but struggled off her second with only 28.6 per cent success. In the end, the Grand Slam winner was just too clinical and booked her spot in the Adelaide International final.

“It was my goal from the beginning of the season, I want to be [a] more consistent player, just play good week by week,” Swiatek said, post-match. “I know it’s impossible sometimes. You’re just going to get tired at some point.

“But I felt pretty good from the beginning of the tournament. It’s really important for me. Just I feel that it’s going to be easier year by year because I’m going to be more grown-up, I’m going to be able to physically and mentally handle tournaments every week.

“It was my goal, so I’m pretty happy everything worked here. Hopefully other WTA tournaments I’m going to be able to do that also.”

SEMI-FINAL RESULTS:

[2] Belinda Bencic (SUI) defeated Coco Gauff (USA) 7-6 6-7 6-2
[5] Iga Swiatek (POL) defeated Jil Teichmann (SUI) 6-3 6-2

2021 Adelaide International: Collins gatecrashes Barty Party as Storm Sanders becomes the last Aussie standing

DANIELLE Collins has sought revenge on world number one Ash Barty, overturning the result between the pair at last year’s Adelaide International to win in straight sets and book her place in the last eight. The American went down in three sets in last year’s semi-final showdown which saw Barty go on to win the title, but in the Round of 16, it was Collins who got the better of the Australian, stunning her 6-3 6-4 and condemning Barty to her second consecutive loss.

“I think I was really familiar with her game after losing to her three times,” Collins said post-match. “So I certainly got some great tennis lessons out of that and have learned from it.”

The American was the third from her nation to make her way into the quarter finals following Shelby Rogers‘ victory the day before, and young gun Coco Gauff‘s come-from-behind win over sixth seed Croatian Petra Martic. Gauff had to fight back from a set down to win 5-7 6-3 6-4 in two hours and 12 minutes, saving seven of her 10 break points, whilst breaking her opponent four times in a nail-biting encounter. She now takes on Rogers in an all-American affair.

For Collins, having disposed of one Grand Slam winner in Barty, she now has another to overcome. The unseeded American faces Iga Swiatek in the quarter finals after the Pole Roland Garros winner defeated Australian Maddison Inglis in straight sets, 6-1 6-3. On a day that was a disaster for seeds, Swiatek held firm and won through to the final eight, joining second seed Belinda Bencic as the only other seed through to the quarter finals.

The biggest upset of the day – even more so than Collins over Barty – was Storm Sanders‘ triumph over Yulia Putintseva. The 26-year-old world number 292nd had no fears against the seventh seed and world number 28, winning 6-4 5-7 6-1 in a tight affair. In a remarkable second match since they last played nine years ago when they were teenagers, the now 26-year-olds engaged in a two-hour and 18-minute battle which saw Sanders emerge victorious. She saved eight of 10 break points, whilst capitalising on four of nine herself to make her way into the quarter finals to take on Bencic.

In the other results, Latvian Anastasia Sevastova will lock horns with Swiss rising talent Jil Teichmann after both won their respective matches. Sevastova knocked out Christina McHale in straight sets, 6-4 6-3, while Teichmann came from behind to defeat eighth seed Chinese talent, Wang Qiang, 3-6 6-3 6-3.

ROUND OF 16 RESULTS:

Danielle Collins (USA) defeated [1] Ash Barty (AUS) 6-3 6-4
[2] Belinda Bencic (SUI) defeated Misaki Doi (JPN) 6-1 6-3
[5] Iga Swiatek (POL) defeated Maddison Inglis (AUS) 6-1 6-3
Coco Gauff (USA) defeated [6] Petra Martic (CRO) 5-7 6-3 6-4
Storm Sanders (AUS) defeated [7] Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 6-4 5-7 6-1
Jil Teichmann (SUI) defeated [8] Wang Qiang (CHN) 3-6 6-3 6-3
Anastasia Sevastova (LAT) defeated Christina McHale 6-4 6-3

Picture credit: Tennis Australia/James Elsby

2021 Adelaide International WTA preview: Barty Party not over down under

THOSE Australians wanting more Ash Barty will get what they wished for after the world number one made a surprise late charge at the 2021 Adelaide International WTA 500 event. The tournament was initially featuring a stacked field, but with many of them reaching deep into the Australian Open, withdrawals had left the tournament without a Top 10 player. Then came Barty.

The Australian reached the quarter finals of her home Grand Slam during the week, and has opted to play another tournament Down Under having missed out on so much tennis in the past 12 months. Unsurprisingly, the tournament committee was more than happy to hand her a wildcard alongside fellow Australians Olivia Gadecki – coming off a stunning win over Grand Slam winner Sofia KeninSam Stosur and Ajla Tomljanovic.

The field for the Adelaide International is not the strongest one, but still features some great young talent alongside some players really hoping to build better form in 2021. Roland Garros reigning champion Iga Swiatek could loom as one of the main threat’s to Barty’s crown, with the 17th ranked Pole coming in as the fifth seed. Fellow young gun, Yulia Putintseva is seventh seed and one of seven Top 30 competitors at the event.

Elise Mertens is the one to watch, with the tricky Belgian flying under the radar at times, but has the capacity to push for a Top 10 spot, currently ranked 16th and coming in as the fourth seed. Belinda Bencic and Johanna Konta round out the top four players at the event, with both the Swiss up-and-comer and British talent looking to have better outings than their third and first round exits at Melbourne Park. Sixth seed Petra Martic is in the same boat, exiting the first Grand Slam of the year in the Round of 128 and now the world number 19 is hoping to impress here.

The withdrawals from the tournament include Australian Open runner-up Jennifer Brady, and young guns Bianca Andreescu, Elena Rybakina, Dayana Yastremska and Marketa Vondrousova. Instead a number of Chinese and French hopes have come into the tournament, with Zhang Shuai, Zheng Saisai and Wang Qiang joining eighth seed Qiang Wang in the draw, as well as Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic. American duo Danielle Collins and Shelby Rogers are also among the inclusions following the withdrawals.

While the Australian Open did not go to plan for the world number one, the Barty Party is predicted to roll on in Adelaide, with the Australian star a winner her 12 months ago and is clearly the best player in the draw. Mertens and Swiatek are the biggest threats to her crown based on their form, while one of the other seeds could finally click into gear in 2021 and cause some headaches.

Picture credit: Getty Images

ATP Adelaide International: Final – Rublev smashes Harris on his way to second 2020 crown

ANDREY Rublev‘s remarkable 2020 season continued in Adelaide today with a 6-3 6-0 whitewash of South African qualifier, Lloyd Harris. The third seeded Russian who has now moved up to number 15 in the world raced to victory in a one-sided contest in just 56 minutes.

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Rublev’s success comes on the back of his victory in Doha a week earlier with the 22-year-old still unbeaten this year heading into Monday’s Australian Open. While Harris has enjoyed a strong tournament in Adelaide, his run came to an end at the ends of the determined Rublev who won 81 per cent of his first serve points, broke the South African four of a possible five times, and held onto his own serve in every game. He also did well off Harris’ serve, winning 60 per cent of the second serve points and more than half of the overall return points on his way to a complete second set.

To-date, Rublev has not lost a match and he now heads to Melbourne Park with a Round 1 clash against Australian wildcard Chris O’Connell on Tuesday, while Harris fronts up against 14th seed, Diego Schwartzmann.

In the doubles match yesterday, Argentinian Maximo Gonzalez and Frenchman Fabrice Martin took out the title, defeating highly fancied fourth seeds, Croatia’s Ivan Dodig and Slovakia’s Filip Polasek 7-6 6-3.

WTA Adelaide International: Final – Barty saves her best for last in first home soil title

ASH Barty has achieved a first today – taking out a singles title in her home country. After coming close on a number of occasions including runners-up in Sydney the last two years, she went one better against up-and-coming Ukrainian talent, Dayana Yastremska 6-2 7-5 in just under 90 minutes.

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The world number one has not been at her best during the summer thus far, but produced a vintage performance in the final, showing all her class and skill against one of the next big thing’s in women’s tennis. Barty produced less aces than her previous matches – just four to her name – but was far more consistent with her serve, winning 75 per cent of her first serve points and 63.6 per cent on her second serve. She also saved two of a possible three break point opportunities, while capitalising on four from 11 herself.

It was not just on-serve where she impressed, controlling her opponent’s serve to win half of Yastremska’s second serve points and still 44.4 per cent of her first serve. The win meant Barty was able to recover some of the points she lost from falling out in the first round at Brisbane a week earlier. Now Australia’s best chance at winning a home Grand Slam in 45 years begins her Melbourne Park Grand Slam against another Ukrainian in Lesia Tsurenko, while Yastremska takes on Slovenian qualifier, Kaja Juvan.

In the doubles final yesterday, number one seeds, China’s Xu Yifan and United States’ Nicole Melichar getting up in a tight one, winning 2-6 7-5 10-5 against third seeds Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski and Croatian Darija Jurak.

ATP Adelaide International: Semi-finals – Rublev’s unbeaten streak continues

AFTER making his debut inside the world’s top 20 players last week following a title at Doha, third seed Russian Andrey Rublev could go back-to-back to start the year after making the final of the Adelaide International. He defeated fellow top 20 prospect and second seed, Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime in three nail-biting sets, while South Africa’s Lloyd Harris continued his dream run from qualifier to finalists following his win over fellow qualifier and American, Tommy Paul.

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All eyes were on Centre Court in Adelaide for the last match of the night yesterday with two future top 10 players going at it hammer and tong. The ultra-consistent Rublev and the fast-serving machine of Auger-Aliassime put on a show in a three-hour marathon in front of excited fans. In the end it was Rublev who marginally took the chocolate, winning 7-6 6-7 6-4 but neither player gave too much away in a game where both had break point opportunities, but few were converted. Rublev secured two breaks from from 10 chances, one crucially coming in the deciding set, while Auger-Aliassime only had the one break from 10 chances. The 19-year-old Canadian served up a whopping 19 aces and only three double faults to win 77 per cent of his first serve points, while the Russian had 10 and six, but converted 75 per cent of his first serve points. It was Rublev’s ability to dig in off the second serve and hold onto 59 per cent of the points, while Auger-Aliassime was a touch lower at 49 per cent. In the end, of the 253 points out on court, Rublev won 129 to Auger-Aliassime’s 124 which showed just how evenly matched the pair was by the end. But Rublev moved on to his second consecutive final and what could be a top 10 ranking if he continues his run at Melbourne Park.

While the earlier semi-final did not come with the same hype as the later one, there was no denying it was a battle of consistent servers who were in terrific form. Harris and Paul had to make their way up from qualifying to face-off in the semi-final after a number of big upsets along the way. In the end, similar to Rublev and Auger-Aliassime’s game, it came down to a simple break, with Harris winning 6-4 6-7 6-3 in two hours and eight minutes. The South African slammed home 13 aces to his opponent’s four, winning 85 per cent of his first serve points while converting four break point opportunities. Paul managed to break twice himself throughout the match, but struggled winning his first serve with just 64 per cent successful. He did make the most of Harris’ second serve however, winning 54 per cent of the points, but was not able to continue the remarkable serving form that got him to that point of the tournament. In saying that, both players boosted their rankings into the 70s from the 90s already, and with the potential to advance at the Australian Open, could move further up the order quickly.

The final between Rublev and Harris takes place following the women’s final, no earlier than 6pm. The 22-year-olds have never played each other, but a win for Rublev would move him up to number 15 in the world, while Harris would shoot up 26 places from 91st to 65th.

Semi-finals results:

[3] Andrey Rublev (RUS) defeated [2] Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 7-6 6-7 6-4
[Q] Lloyd Harris (RSA) defeated [Q] Tommy Paul (USA) 6-4 6-7 6-3

ATP Adelaide International: Day 4 – Harris and Paul continue qualifying run

WHILE the Andrey Rublev and Daniel Evans match lived up to expectations, it was the run of two qualifiers in the top half of the Adelaide International that caught the eye of spectators this week. South African world number 99 Lloyd Harris bowled over fourth seed, Pablo Carreno Busta, while 90th ranked American qualifier Tommy Paul toppled another Spaniard in Albert Ramos-Vinolas, 6-3 6-4 for the pair of qualifiers to now face-off in the semi-finals. In the other quarter final second seed, Felix Auger-Aliassime made light work of Australian wildcard Andrew Bolt, winning 6-3 6-0.

On the live rankings, both Harris and Paul have made big jumps off a semi-finals spot, both now inside the top 80, and the winner will advance through to 73rd on the rankings ahead of the Australian Open. In Harris’ upset of the world number 30, Harris took 66 minutes to win with a 6-3 6-3 straight sets triumph. He broke the Spaniard three times during the match while being as consistent on serve as anyone going around. Harris slammed home 13 aces off a 73 per cent first serve ratio, while being near impenetrable with his play in court off his first serve – losing four points off his first serve and only losing three points off his second serve which were all double faults – statistics that make it impossible to lose.

Paul was almost as impressive on serve against Ramos-Vinolas in Adelaide, serving up nine aces and only losing a combined 11 points from his service games, four of which were double faults. Ramos-Vinolas did not get a chance to break, while Paul took up two breaks from four opportunities, also impressing on return with some nice shot play. Heading into the Australian Open, the 22-year-old American is yet another player that not too many would want to come up against and one that could surprise in the upcoming Open, but first he has to get past Harris.

In the most anticipated match of the day between two in-form players who are both seeded at the Grand Slam next week, it was Russian Rublev who continued his unbeaten form in season 2020, winning 6-4 3-6 6-3 in just over two hours against Evans. There was not a great deal of difference between the two competitors, but Rublev converted an extra break point from nine opportunities and was stronger off his serve with numbers of 82 and 59 per cent from his first and second serve winning percentage. Evans was 67 and 54 per cent respectively, but it was more his inability to get past the Russian’s first serve, winning a meagre eight points off it in the match. He served up five aces to the third seed’s 12, and now heads to the Australian Open with a potential third round matchup against tournament favourite, Novak Djokovic.

The last quarter final went about as expected with the greater class of Auger-Aliassime shining through to stop the run of Bolt who had impressed to earn a spot in the semi-finals. A future Grand Slam winner, Auger-Aliassime slammed home eight aces without a double fault and only lost a mind-boggling four points during his service games – in what was almost considered a perfect match. Bolt struggled throughout the 55-minute encounter, only winning 53 per cent of his first serve points and 33 per cent of his second serve points, while being broken five times. The world number 157 was just outclassed on the day and now heads east for the Australian Open.

On Day 5, Paul and Harris are first up in the day game starting from 12.30pm on Centre Court, with Rublev and Auger-Aliassime’s highly anticipated battle of the young guns semi-final happening at night.

Day 4 Results:

[2] Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) defeated [WC] Alex Bolt (AUS) 6-3 6-0
[3] Andrey Rublev (RUS) defeated Daniel Evans (GBR) 6-4 3-6 6-3
Lloyd Harris (RSA) defeated [4] Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) 6-3 6-3
[Q] Tommy Paul (USA) defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 6-3 6-4

ATP Adelaide International: Day 2 – Evans continues rise as first round completed

DANIEL Evans is already through to the quarter Finals of the Adelaide International after a straight sets win over Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik in the sole second round match yesterday. Evans had already cruised past Argentinian Juan Ignacio Londero, while Bublik caused the upset of Day 1, triumphing over the highest ranked seed with a first round match in American Taylor Fritz. Evans is a genuine sleeper in the Australian Open, and presuming third seed Russian Andrey Rublev defeats American Sam Querrey in their second round match today, it sets up a tantalising quarter final matchup.

There were just four matches played to complete Round 1 today in Adelaide, with seventh seed, Jan-Lennard Struff cruising through against Italian lucky loser Salvatore Caruso, 6-4 6-2. Struff was remarkably the only seed to survive Round 1 and joins the top four seeds who enter the draw in Round 2. In other games, Australian Alex Bolt survived a second set fightback from French lucky loser, Stephane Robert, winning in three sets 6-4 2-6 6-0 to set up a date with Struff in the Round of 16, while Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas downed Australian Jordan Thompson, and American qualifier Tommy Paul knocked off Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene.

In the match of the day, Evans toppled Bublik 7-5 6-2 with a first serve percentage of 70, while winning 83 per cent of his first serves despite not producing an ace. He also attack the Kazakhstan player’s second serve, winning a whopping 75 per cent off it, and managed to convert four breaks from seven opportunities while Bublik could only manage one from three. In the end it was a convincing win from Evans, who knocked off top 20 players David Goffin and Alex de Minaur in the ATP Cup, with the former defeating Rafael Nadal, and the latter taking him to three sets.

Fans will not have to wait long for some huge clashes with Rublev taking on Querrey from the start of play on centre court, while Australian wildcard James Duckworth tries his luck against second seed Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime in the night game. Elsewhere, fourth seed Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta clashes with Jeremy Chardy, and Ramos-Vinolas looks to make the most of de Minaur’s withdrawal by facing lucky loser and countryman Jaume Munar. In the other matches, Laslo Djere takes on South African qualifier Lloyd Harris, Argentinian Pablo Cuevas faces Paul, while Struff and Bolt lock horns in the late game.

Day 2 Results:

R32:

[7] J. Struff (GER) defeated S. Caruso (ITA) 6-4 6-2
[Q] T. Paul (USA) defeated A. Bedene (SLO) 6-4 6-4
A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) defeated J. Thompson (AUS) 6-4 6-7 6-3
[WC] A. Bolt (AUS) defeated [LL] S. Robert (FRA) 6-4 2-6 6-0

R16:

D. Evans (GBR) defeated A. Bublik (KAZ) 7-5 6-2

ATP Adelaide International: Day 1 – Seeds fall as draw opens up

FOUR of the top eight players are out of the Adelaide International with news filtering through that top seed Alex de Minaur had withdrawn from the tournament yesterday. He chose to exit, but he was joined on an extended break before the Australian Open by fifth seed Taylor Fritz, sixth seed Cristian Garin and eighth seed Reilly Opelka. Garin went down to South Africa’s Lloyd Harris – ranked one spot inside the top 100 – 7-6 3-6 6-4, Fritz suffered defeat at the hands of 55th ranked Kazakhstani Alexander Bublik 6-4 7-6, while Opelka had a rough draw facing top 50 prospect Pablo Cuevas, losing 5-7 7-6 7-6 in the tightest match of the day.

While Australia lost its great white hope for the title, it was mixed results for the home nation with James Duckworth getting up in straight sets over Argentinian qualifier Federico Delbonis 6-4 6-4, while Alexei Popyrin fought hard but went down in three sets to Serbia’s Laslo Djere 7-6 3-6 6-4. Now Duckworth will need to step up to the next level when he faces the number two seed, Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime in the second round. Two other seeds had a bye, in third seed Andrey Rublev who now faces American Sam Querrey after Querrey got up in three sets over French qualifier, Gregoire Barrere 6-7 6-2 7-6.

In the other games, Jeremy Chardy toppled out-of-form compatriot Gilles Simon in the battle of the Frenchmen, winning 6-3 7-5, while in-form Brit, Daniel Evans continued his stunning month with a 6-2 6-4 smashing of Juan Ignacio Londero. Chardy takes on rested fourth seed, Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta, while Evans faces Bublik for the chance to potentially play Rublev in the quarter finals. Djere and Harris face-off in the second orund, while lucky loser Jaume Munar – who took de Minaur’s place with a bye in the first round – will face the winner of Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Jordan Thompson who play today.

Cuevas will take on the winner of today’s match between Slovakia’s Aljaz Bedene and American qualifier Tommy Paul, while the other two matches to take place today are veteran Fernando Verdasco trying to topple seventh seed German, Jan-Lennard Struff, and Australian wildcard Alex Bolt facing Frenchman, Pierre-Hugues Herbert with the winners from those games to face off in the second round.

Day 1 Results:

Alexander Bublik (KAZ) defeated [5] Taylor Fritz (USA) 6-4 7-6
Lloyd Harris (RSA) defeated [6] Cristian Garin (CHI) 7-6 3-6 6-4
Pablo Cuevas (URG) defeated [8] Reilly Opelka (USA) 5-7 7-6 7-6
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) defeated Gilles Simon (FRA) 6-3 7-5
Laslo Djere (SRB) defeated [WC] Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 7-6 3-6 6-4
Daniel Evans (GBR) defeated Juan Ignacio Londero (ARG) 6-2 6-4
Sam Querrey (USA) defeated [Q] Gregoire Barrere (FRA) 6-7 6-2 7-6
[WC] James Duckworth (AUS) defeated [Q] Federico Delbonis (ARG) 6-4 6-4