RIO DE JANEIRO – Uruguayan tennis player Pablo Cuevas (63), Spaniard Albert Ramos (93), Serbian Laslo Djere (90) and Norwegian Casper Ruud (135) advanced on Thursday to the quarterfinals of the Rio de Janeiro Open, the only ATP 500 tournament in South America.
Cuevas, who already won the main Brazilian tournament in 2016, will face Ramos on Friday, while Djere and Ruud will play for another spot in the semifinals.
On Wednesday, Spain’s Jaume Munar (66), Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien (113), Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene (83) and Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime (104) all made it through to the quarterfinals.
Munar will face Auger Aliassime, the 18-year-old Canadian rising star who won the support of Brazilian fans, and Bedene will take on Dellien, so far, the big surprise in Brazil.
Cuevas, now the favorite after the elimination of all top players, moved to the next phase after sweeping aside Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero (69) 6-1, 6-4.
The Uruguayan was superior throughout the game and only needed 22 minutes to take the first set.
Cuevas had reached the round of 16 after eliminating Argentine Diego Schwartzman (19), who won the Brazilian title last year, in the first round.
Meanwhile, Ramos advanced to the next phase by beating Argentina’s Federico Delbonis (89) 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Also on Thursday, Djere, who in the first round had eliminated the top favorite, Dominic Thiem (8), won 6-4, 6-2 against Japanese Taro Daniel (73) to reach the quarterfinals.
He will face Ruud, who on Thursday eliminated Portuguese Joao Sousa (40) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
This year’s title favorites in Rio were eliminated in the first round, including Austria’s Thiem, who won the tournament in 2017, Italy’s Fabio Fognini (13), Marco Cecchinato (18) and Schwartzman (19).
In the doubles competition, the big surprise was the elimination of Brazilians Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares, 17th in the world rankings and favorites in Rio.
Melo and Soares were knocked out by Brazilians Thomaz Bellucci and Rogerio Dutra Silva, who won 6-2, 6-7 (6), 10-5 in a game lasting 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Belluci and Dutra Silva will play the first semifinal on Friday against Argentine Andres Molteni and Czech Roman Jebavy.
Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Roberto Farah reached the semifinals after defeating British duo Jonny O’Mara and Luke Bambridge 6-2, 6-3.
In the other semifinal, also on Friday, the Colombians will meet the duo made up of Argentina’s Maximo Gonzalez and Chile’s Nicolas Jarry.
The Brazilian tournament will continue until Sunday on the clay courts of the Brazilian Jockey Club. The champion will take home a prize of $369,000 and 500 ATP points and the other finalist $185,325 and 300 ATP points.