Fabio Fognini (Rio Open/Fotojump) The three longest matches of this edition of the Rio Open presented by Claro decided the first quarterfinalists of the tournament at Jockey Club Brasileiro this Wednesday. First player to advance was Argentinian Federico Coria. In the second longest match of the tournament, he took out veteran Fernando Verdasco in three sets. Coria, almost ten years younger than the 38-year-old Spaniard, survived three hours and one minute at the hot and humid Jockey Club Brasileiro to score 7/6 (2), 4/6 and 6/4. “I'm really happy with this win and I want to congratulate Fernando. He’s older than me and he resisted bravely. I thought that after the first set he wouldn’t have energy to keep playing, but I was the one dying”, joked Coria. This will be his second straight ATP Tour quarterfinal after reaching the quarters in Buenos Aires last week. Two years ago, as a qualifier, the Argentinian also made it to this stage in Rio. He will now take on Fabio Fognini, who was a quarter-finalist last week in Buenos Aires. In a three-hour match the Italian came from behind to defeat Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, fourth seed in Rio, by 5/7, 6/4 and 6/3. This is Fognini’s fourth Rio quarter-final in seven appearances. He was runner-up in 2015 (lost to David Ferrer), a semi-finalist in 2018 and quarter-finalist in 2014. “I'm very happy and very tired. I love playing in Rio. I have so many good memories here… I defeated some great players here, I played a final and played at the Olympics as well. This South-American swing is my favorite. I’m happy to be here and to have won a tough
Casper Ruud (Rio Open/Fotojump) The top two seeds of this eighth edition of the Rio Open presented by Claro will finally make their debut at the clay courts of Jockey Club Brasileiro this Thursday. The anticipated clash between top seed Matteo Berrettini and Brazil’s number one player, Thiago Monteiro, is the highlight of Day 4 of the event, at the third match at Quadra Guga Kuerten. The Italian, 6th in the world, will play his first match since the semifinals of the Australian Open, in January, against Rafael Nadal. "I don’t consider myself the star of the tournament but I know what I can do, I can have a long run and that’s why I’m here. I wanna play a lot of matches here, so let’s see”, said Berrettini, whose grandmother, Lucia, was born and raised in Rio. Although this will be Berrettini’s first appearance at the carioca tournament, he’s no stranger to the clay: three of his five titles were achieved on this surface (Gstaad, in 2018, Budapest, in 2019, and Belgrade, last year). “It was a shame that two years ago I had to withdraw from the Rio Open because of an injury, but that’s in the past now. I’m here, I’m healthy, I heard the atmosphere here is great and I can’t wait to play.” For underdog Monteiro, playing against a top 10 player will be an opportunity to try and show his best tennis. “Matteo is a great player, he serves really well, he’s got all the resources and is a very dangerous player. My advantage here is that I’m playing at home, where I feel good. I know I’m the underdog here, but I know
Murray, Soares, Dutra Silva and Luz (Rio Open/Fotojump) Third seeds Bruno Soares and Jamie Murray stormed past Brazilian duo Rogerio Dutra Silva and Orlando Luz by 6/3 and 6/2 at the doubles’ draw of the Rio Open presented by Claro in a very emotional match. It was Dutra Silva’s last match before retiring. After the last point, former player Teliana Pereira explained to the crowd how much his career inspired her. Testimonials from coach Larri Passos, former player André Sá, tennis player Thomaz Bellucci, and his father, Eulício were shown on the big screen at the court "It was the perfect setting for my farewell. The Rio Open is the best tournament, this is the best place, with the best audience. I've always enjoyed playing here, with the crowd so close by. I enjoyed every single moment this past week.", said the 38-year-old, who reached number 63 in the ATP Rankings. "A movie played in my head, remembering how hard it was for me to get here. I came from nowhere and played for 20 years as a professional. Today I speak four languages and traveled the world. I know I can sleep in peace tonight knowing what I achieved”, added Dutra Silva. Soares also praised his friend. “It was a privilege to be on the court today when he said farewell to tennis. We had many moments together. Rogerio is an example, he came from nothing to be a tennis player. I know I’ve achieved a lot in my career, but I am privileged. My family has always been able to provide me with many things, but both him and Teliana are examples", said Soares. During his career, Dutra
Cuevas, Melo and Verdasco (Rio Open/Fotojump) Although they use their hands to play, Marcelo Melo, Pablo Cuevas and Diego Schwartzman accepted a different kind of challenge at the Rio Open this year and risked some footvolley and teqball moves alongside Natalia Guitler, world champion of both sports. The trio met with Natalia on a sand court at Jockey Club Brasileiro, where the eighth edition of the biggest tennis tournament in South America is being held. Natalia and Melo played the footvolley match against Uruguayan Cuevas and Argentinian Schwartzman. They all got tires from her and had a lot of fun playing. Footvolly combines field rules that are based on those of beach volleyball with ball-touch rules taken from football. It’s very popular at the beaches in Brazil, specially in Rio. For the teqball match, the pairs were reversed and Natalia played alongside Cuevas. Teqball is a football-based sport played on a specially curved table. Before venturing into sand sports, Natalia played tennis professionally for five years in Argentina, at the same club as Schwartzman, currently 14th in the world and 2018 champion in Rio. “It was really cool to see Diego again. When I started playing tennis, we were training at the same club and he was also at the beginning of his career. It's really cool to see how far he has come and everything he's achieved. I already knew Cuevas' game and it was great to meet him in person, he's a lot of fun. Melo is a reference for me and it was an honor to meet him in person. All of them did very well. It was a different experience that I loved being a part
Ball Dog (Rio Open/Fotojump) The Rio Open presented by Claro received special furry guests this Tuesday night at Quadra Guga Kuerten. Wearing custom-made uniforms that included wristbands and a bandana, and having used an exclusive dressing room, Ball Dogs melted the crowds’ hearts. Named Kadu, Flora, Lua, Felipo, Luna and Fred, they went for a walk at Leblon Boulevard and worked at the center court catching the balls for Thiago Monteiro, Brazil’s top player, and João Fonseca. Wagging their tails, they showed a lot of disposition and ability to catch the balls right after Monteiro’s win over Argentinian Sebastian Baez on the first round of the tournament. The dogs are being cared by the non-profit organization Patinhas Anônimas (something like Anonymous Paws, in a free translation) and are up for adoption. “I love dogs and I wish I could have one. But it would be selfish from me because I’m never home”, said Monteiro, who now faces Matteo Berrettini at the second round of the Rio Open. “I can totally see a dog in my future. It was the first time for them here at the tournament and I thought they were a bit nervous at the beginning. But then we started throwing the balls and they were having a blast”, added the Brazilian player. Those interested in adopting one of the Ball Dogs can check them out at: https://conteudo.premierpet.com.br/caodula
Fabio Fognini (Rio Open/Fotojump) In their first ever meeting at an ATP Tour event, Fabio Fognini stormed past Facundo Bagnis, from Argentina, to reach the second round of the Rio Open presented by Claro. The 34-year-old Italian scored 6/2 and 6/4 in a little over one hour. This was Fognini’s return to the carioca event after missing the 2020 edition _he played in the first six editions of the Rio tournament and his best result was in 2015 when he was the runner-up to David Ferrer. In 2018, Fognini reached the semifinals but was defeated by Fernando Verdasco. The Italian will now face Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta in the hopes of making it to the quarterfinals of the eighth edition of the Rio Open. Another Italian advancing to the second round of the Rio Open this Tuesday was sixth seed Lorenzo Sonego, who cruised past 2019 Rio Open champion Laslo Djere. Sonego scored 6/2 and 6/0 and will face qualifier Miomir Kecmanovic next. With the support of the crowd at Quadra Guga Kuerten, Thiago Monteiro came from behind to defeat #NextGenATP player Sebastian Baez by 1/6, 6/4 and 6/4. Monteiro, Brazil’s number one player, will now take on top seed and world’s number six Matteo Berrettini, on Thursday. Argentinian Baez, who went through qualifying in Rio, is enjoying a career-high No 72 this week in the ATP Rankings. “This victory was super important to me because Baez was a thorn in my side. I was a little bit nervous at the beginning of the match and he scored 6/1, so I tried to remain calm and to be honest I was still feeling weirdly confident”, said Monteiro. “Baez is very
Artist Maxwell Alexandre paid a visit to the Rio Open presented by Claro this Monday. The artist from Rio de Janeiro, who was invited to design the official poster of the eighth edition of the tournament, was at Corcovado Club, the space where his work is on display. He also visited La Boutique, the official Rio Open store, that has Maxwell's poster t-shirts for sale for those who want to take home a souvenir from the biggest tennis tournament in South America. Since 2015, the Rio Open has been inviting renowned artists to create the official posters of each edition. "When I was invited by the Rio Open I searched my own history for visual elements that mentioned the sport. The first relationship I established was between the yellowish color of brown paper, which I use for my paintings in recent years, with the earthy color of the clay courts,” explained Maxwell. The artist lives and works in Rio de Janeiro. His poetics consists of the construction of narratives and scenes structured from his daily experiences in the city and in Rocinha, the largest and most populous favela in Brazil. Maxwell now joins other artists as Bechara, Daniel Azulay, Toz, Carlos Vergara and Raul Mourão as one of the designers who left their marks at the Rio Open.
Carlos Alcaraz (Rio Open/Fotojump) Teenager sensation Carlos Alcaraz survived a first round scare and, coming from behind, defeated fellow countryman Jaume Munar at his first match at this year’s Rio Open presented by Claro. After losing the first set, Alcaraz dominated the second set breaking Munar in the 4th and 8th games. And then barely gave Munar a chance to play in third. Youngest member of the Top 200 of the ATP Rankings, Alcaraz won by 2/6, 6/2 and 6/1 in two hours and 15 minutes. It was their second matchup at the ATP level and each one has a victory so far. “It was a very tough match for me. Last time I played on clay was in June, but I’m happy with the way I managed the situation after losing the first set. I managed to keep calm”, said Alcaraz, 29th in the world and seventh seed in Rio. “I must thank the crowd for the support since the beginning of the mach. They were just amazing and made me feel home even though I’m so far from home. That's something really hard to find.” Alcaraz, 18, now waits for the clash between Daniel Galan (COL) and Federico Delbonis (ARG) to find out his opponent on the second round. Also advancing this Monday was Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic. Coming from the qualifying, he defeated crowd’s favorite Brazilian Felipe Meligeni by 6/3 and 6/0 in a little over one hour. "I knew it wasn't going to be easy because he [Meligeni] was playing at home, but I played my best and it worked. It feels good to be here in Rio. It's my first time here, I'm having a