RIO DE JANEIRO – Spain’s Jaume Munar, Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien, Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene and Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime advanced to the quarterfinals of the Rio Open on Wednesday.
Favorites Dominic Thiem of Austria and Fabio Fognini of Italy were eliminated in first round of the tournament.
Munar, with an ATP ranking of 66, will face Auger-Aliassime (64) in the quarters while Dellien (113), the big surprise of the event, will play Bedene (83).
The other quarterfinalists will be decided on Thursday in the matches between Laslo Djere and Taro Daniel, Casper Ruud and Joao Sousa, Federico Delbonis and Albert Ramos and Pablo Cuevas and Juan Ignacio Londero.
The 2016 champion Cuevas was the last to qualify for the round of 16 with a win against defending champion Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, who retired due to injury while trailing 6-4, 4-1.
Austria’s Thiem, ranked 8th in the world and winner of the tournament in 2017, was ousted in the first round this time around along with the Italians Fabio Fognini (16) and Marco Cecchinato (17).
Out of the top eight seeded players of the event, Portugal’s Joao Sousa (40), fifth favorite, was the only one to move into the second round while Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic (43), Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri (44) and Chile’s Nicolas Jarry (47) were all knocked out.
Their elimination opened the door to youngsters such as Munar and Auger-Aliassime and the surprise package Dellien.
Munar, 21, bagged a place in the quarterfinals after a 7-6 (6), 5-7, 7-6 (4) win against Britain’s Cameron Norrie (62) in a match lasting 3 hours and 19 minutes that was only decided in the tiebreaker.
The Spaniard let three set points slip away and lost the opportunity to wrap up the match in the second set itself or earlier in the third set without the tiebreaker.
Dellien ousted Spain’s Roberto Carballes (114) 7-5, 6-4 to become the first Bolivian in 39 years to reach the quarterfinals of such a competition.
The Slovenian Bedene booked his spot in the quarters with a 6-3, 6-4 victory against Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro (126).
In the first round, Bedene had defeated Italy’s Marco Cecchinato, who won the Argentina Open on Sunday.
The last player to make it to the quarterfinals on Wednesday was 18-year-old Canadian Auger-Aliassime, who beat Chile’s Christian Garin (91) 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 46 minutes.
The Canadian, who has reached his first ATP 500 quarterfinals, had pulled off a surprise win against Fognini (16), the second favorite, in the first round on Tuesday.