Verdasco advances in the Rio Open

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Spain’s Fernando Verdasco beat Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (4), 6-3 on Tuesday to advance to the clay-court Rio Open.

It was the first victory for the 38-year-old veteran in an ATP 500 competition since 2019.

Verdasco, a former top 10 player, is currently ranked 172nd in the world rankings after a series of injuries. He will face Argentine Federico Coria for a place in the quarterfinals.

“It is a very important tournament for me. It’s been a long time since I was able to play in a tournament like this due to the surgeries I had on my elbow and knee”, said an emotional Verdasco after the match. “I want to be among the best again, play the most important tournaments, the Grand Slams. These weeks in South America will help a lot”.

Coria eliminated Chilean Christian Garín (5th seed) 6-2, 6-0.

Also on Tuesday, the Spanish Albert Ramos Viñolas (8th) defeated the Argentine Juan Londero 6-3, 6-4. The Spaniard will face his compatriot Pablo Andújar in the next round.

Argentine Federico Delbonis defeated Colombian Daniel Galán 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 and will face Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz, 18 years old and 29th in the world.

Meanwhile, Italian Lorenzo Sonego (6th) defeated Serbian Laslo Djere 6-2, 6-0. His next opponent will be fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic.

Another Italian, Fabio Fognini, beat Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis 6-2, 6-4 and will play fourth seed Pablo Carreno Busta on Wednesday.

Brazilian fans got their touch of joy after Thiago Monteiro defeated Argentina’s Sebastián Báez 1-6, 6-4, 6-4. The favorite of the local fans will face the best seed of the tournament, the Italian Matteo Berretini, sixth in the ranking.

The Norwegian Casper Ruud is also part of the tournament.

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