RIO DE JANEIRO — Thomaz Bellucci upset top-seeded Kei Nishikori 6-4, 6-3 in the first round of the Rio Open, thrilling the home crowd on Carnival week in Rio de Janeiro.
Nishikori, who lost the Argentina Open final on Sunday on clay, smashed his racket on the red clay after losing Tuesday’s first set. It didn’t get any better. He was broken in the first game of the second and never really recovered.
Brazilian Belluci had lost his previous two matches against Nishikori, who has lost all six of his singles finals since winning the Memphis Open a year ago.
In another first-round match, No. 4-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain defeated Brazil’s Joao Souza 6-3, 6-2.
No. 2 Dominic Thiem of Austria played late against Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia.