RIO DE JANEIRO – Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay (63), Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime (104), Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia and Serbia’s Laslo Djere (90) advanced to the Rio Open semifinals on Friday.
Cuevas, winner of the 2016 tournament, will seek to get to the final with a face-off against Auger-Aliassime – an 18-year-old emerging Canadian star – on Saturday while Bedene and Djere will play in the other semifinal.
Cuevas reached the next round after defeating Spain’s Albert Ramos 6-3, 3-6,6-3 in a match that lasted two hours and 30 minutes, and emerged as the favorite to win the title.
The Uruguayan broke the Spaniard three times with a strong rhythm and won the first set 6-3.
Ramos made a comeback in the second set a with service break and with an initial advantage of 3-0, which he maintained throughout the set that ended 6-3 for him.
Ramos began the third set dominating Cuevas, but the latter soon managed to equalize the set 1-1.
Ramos compelled Cuevas to face four break points before he could take the set 6-3.
In another match, Auger-Aliassime defeated Spain’s Jaume Munar 6-4, 6-3.
The Canadian started the tournament with a surprise victory over Fabio Fognini (16), the second favorite in the tournament.
With a high level technique and strong game, the Canadian showed great strength against a visibly tired Munar.
In the other singles semifinal, Serbia’s Djere, who defeated Norway’s Carper Ruud (135) 6-4, 7-5 is set to play against Slovenia’s Bedene (83) who defeated Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien (113) in a surprise 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win on Friday.
In the first round, Djere defeated Italy’s Marco Cecchinato (17).