Argentina's Pella, Delbonis earn Buenos Aires wins

2/13/2018 5:29:13 AM EST

Guido Pella and Federico Delbonis started their home tournament with victory in first-round action of the Argentina Open on Monday on the clay courts in Buenos Aires.

Pella served eight aces and no double faults in his three-set win over countryman Nicolas Kicker, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

"It was difficult to play against a friend, it always is," Pella told Argentina's La Nueva. "I am happy to have turned a (match) that I was close to losing. I knew that at some point the (match) was going to give me a chance. It is logical. I clung to the end. As I always say, one has to fight."

And a fight it was, with Kicker coming in to the match 87th in the ATP rankings and Pella 59th.

But Kicker raced out to the one-set lead before Pella gathered himself.

"The truth is I did not come with much expectation," Pella said. "There I put a little pressure because there are my relatives, my friends"

Delbonis -- ranked 70th in the world -- dispatched 71st-ranked German Florian Mayer 7-6 (4), 6-4 in their first-ever meeting.

A key to the match was break points saved, with Delbonis going 4 of 8 while Mayer was just 2 of 7.

In other matches, Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez beat Argentina's Carlos Berloq 6-3, 6-3, Serbia's Dusan Lajovic downed Argentine qualifier Facundo Bagnis 7-6 (4), 6-1, and Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci defeated Argentina's Pedro Cachin 6-2, 6-1.

--Field Level Media