Norrie, Fonseca cruise into Rio Open quarterfinals

Tennis

RIO DE JANEIRO — Defending champion Cameron Norrie beat Tomás Barrios Vera of Chile 6-1, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals of the Rio Open on Thursday.

The second-seeded Norrie needed just 26 minutes to take the first set of a match originally scheduled for a day earlier but postponed because of rain.

The British player will face home favorite Thiago Seyboth Wild on Friday.

The 82nd-ranked Seyboth Wild advanced by beating Spain’s Jaume Munar 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 to become the first Brazilian to reach the tournament’s quarterfinals since 2017.

No. 23 Norrie became the favorite to win the clay court tournament once again after Carlos Alcaraz, Stan Wawrinka and Nicolás Jarry were all earlier beaten or retired injured.

At last year’s French Open, Seyboth Wild upset Daniil Medvedev in the first round.

“Wild is a great player. He plays really well as an underdog, in Grand Slams against top players,” Norrie said. “I saw him at the French Open and against (Andrey) Rublev this year. I know what to expect, a tough match. His top level is really high.”

Later, 17-year-old João Fonseca became the first player born in 2006 to reach the quarterfinals of an ATP Tour tournament. He beat the 2020 Rio Open champion Cristian Garin of Chile 6-4, 6-4 and will take on Argentina’s Mariano Navone, who came from qualifying, for a place in the semifinals.

“I really needed the crowd’s support to secure this win, nerves were becoming an issue,” Fonseca said after his victory. “I can barely believe this, this week has already changed a lot in my life.”

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