Verdasco Shocks Defending Champion In Rio

Fernando Verdasco (photo: Rio Open/twitter)

RIO DE JANEIRO, February 24, 2018

Fernando Verdasco advanced to the semi-finals of the Rio Open Presented by Claro, knocking out defending champion and No. 2 seed Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-4, 6-0 on Friday.

The 34-year-old from Spain saved all four break points he faced, converting four of his own to seal victory in one hour and 26 minutes.

“I knew that if I wanted to beat a player like him, I’d have to play all or nothing. I’d have to play all my best shots, try to play aggressively every point no matter what happens,” said Verdasco. “I cannot really ask for more.” 

The former World No. 7 will next take on Fabio Fognini. The fifth favourite from Italy battled past Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 6-7, 6-3, 6-1 in two hours and 34 minutes.

Chilean youngster Nicolas Jarry made into the stage of the final four at ATP World Tour level for the first time. The 22-year-old Santiago native defeated No. 7 seed Pablo Cuevas from Uruguay 7-5, 6-3. Jarry outpointed his opponent 66-60 in one hour and 23 minutes.

Next up for Jarry will be No. 6 seed Diego Schwartzman from Argentina, who beat Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 23 minutes.