Rio de Janeiro, Feb 23 (IANS) Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay (ranked 63), Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime (104), Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia and Serbia’s Laslo Djere (90) have advanced to the Rio Open semifinals.
Cuevas, winner of the 2016 tournament, will face Auger-Aliassime, an 18-year-old emerging Canadian star, and Bedene will play Djere in the semifinals, reports Efe news.
Cuevas reached the next round after defeating Spain’s Albert Ramos 6-3,3-6,6-3 in a 150-minute match on Friday and emerged the favourite 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 equalised the scoreline 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 favourite in the tournament.
With better 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 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).