Carlos Alcaraz (Rio Open/Fotojump)

After playing twice this Saturday, Diego Schwartzman and Carlos Alcaraz powered into the final of the Rio Open presented by Claro, this Sunday, at 5:30pm (local time), at Quadra Guga Kuerten.

This is the first time the 2018 Rio Open champion and the rising Spanish star will face each other.

Schwartzman, 29, currently ranked 14 in the world, has four titles under his belt. Alcaraz, 18, won his first title last year and enjoyed a standout 2021 season, soaring from outside the Top 100 to number 32. He is currently world’s number 29 and will play his first ATP 500 final.

Schwartzman was the first one to qualify for the final. After a three-hour-and-a-half quarterfinal match earlier this Saturday, he was back on Quadra Guga Kuerten for his semifinal match against fellow Argentine Francisco Cerundolo about four hours later.

Tired from the intense past two weeks, when he reached the semifinals in Cordoba and then the final in Buenos Aires, Schwartzman used his experience to take out Cerundolo by 7/6 (4) and 6/3.

“The crowd today was amazing, I got all my energy from them and for an Argentine to play in Brazil to feel something like that is something that I really don’t understand”, said the third seed about the famous sports rivalry between the countries.

“We both made an extra effort to play this semifinal and I think that under the conditions it was a great match. He started really strong but I think I was mentally stronger and took advantage of that. In the second set he was not the same and I managed to win. I’m really happy but worn-out right now. Hopefully Alcaraz and Fognini will have a very long match and will have a bad night of sleep so I can have a good match tomorrow”, joked.

Unfortunately for him it was not exactly the case. The Spaniard needed only two sets to take out Fabio Fognini in the last match of Day 6 ate the Rio Open. Alcaraz scored 6/2 and 7/5 in one hour and 45 minutes. It was his second win over an Italian on the same day _earlier he stunned top seed Matteo Berrettini.

“It was definitely not easy to play two tough matches on the same day and to be honest I am surprised with my performance. I’m really tired but happy that I proved to myself what I’m able to do. I’m super excited to play my first ATP 500 final”, said the teenager, who two years ago, at the same Jockey Club Brasileiro achieve his maiden tour-level win.

“It’s gonna be a great match against Diego. It will be a tough match for sure but I can’t wait to play, it will be a beautiful match and I’ll try to use my youth on my favor.”

ORDER OF PLAY – SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2022
QUADRA GUGA KUERTEN start 5:30 pm
[7] C. Alcaraz (ESP) vs [3] D. Schwartzman (ARG) 
[3] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs S. Bolelli (ITA) / F. Fognini (ITA) or S. Gonzalez (MEX) / A. Molteni (ARG)

QUADRA 1 start 4:00 pm
S. Bolelli (ITA) / F. Fognini (ITA) vs S. Gonzalez (MEX) / A. Molteni (ARG)

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