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Rio Open: Alcaraz survives Fognini battle to set up Lajovic clash in quarters

The Spaniard improves to 6-0 for the 2023 season and faces Dusan Lajovic next

Spain's Carlos Alcaraz during his round of 16 match against Italy's Fabio Fognini at the 2023 Rio Open Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz during his round of 16 match against Italy’s Fabio Fognini at the 2023 Rio Open Image Credit: AI/Reuters/Panoramic
Rio Open presented by Claro •Round of 16 • completed
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Top seed and world No 2 Carlos Alcaraz survived a vintage performance from Italian veteran Fabio Fognini before prevailing in a two-hour 47-minute marathon to reach the quarter-finals of the Rio Open.

The 19-year-old Spaniard let go of an early lead in the first set to lose it in a tiebreaker before fighting back to win 6-7, 7-2, 6-4 on Thursday evening.

“It was really tough. Both Fabio and I played such a high level, great points, great shots,” Alcaraz said after his win as per the ATP Tour. “It’s amazing to play these kinds of matches. I would say both players played almost our 100 per cent.”

With the win, Alcaraz improves to 2-0 lifetime against the 35-year-old Italian and both of those wins have come at the Rio Open with the Spaniard also beating Fognini in the semi-finals here last year.

Alcaraz, who had defeated wildcard Mateus De Carvalho Cardoso Alves 6-4, 6-4 in his first match in Rio de Janeiro, will next meet Dusan Lajovic, who defeated Laslo Djere in straight sets in another second round clash on Thursday.

After skipping the Australian Open last month due to injury, Alcaraz made his 2023 debut last week at Buenos Aires and won his seventh career singles title on Sunday. With the win, he has improved to 6-0 for the year.

Rio de Janeiro ATP500, second-round results (Jockey Club Brasileiro, clay, USD 2,013,940, most recent results first):

  • Sebastian Baez (6) beat Juan Pablo Varillas: 7-5, 7-6 (6)
  • Nicolas Jarry (Q) beat Pedro Martinez: 6-2, 6-2
  • Bernabe Zapata Miralles beat Francisco Cerundolo (4): 6-1, 4-6, 6-1
  • Albert Ramos-Vinolas (7) beat Daniel Elahi Galan: 6-2, 6-4
  • Cameron Norrie (2) beat Thiago Monteiro: 7-5, 7-5
  • Hugo Dellien beat Alex Molcan (9): 1-6, 6-2, 6-2
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