Veteran Verdasco advances at Rio Open; 5th seed Garin out

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

RIO DE JANEIRO — Fernando Verdasco of Spain beat Serbian Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (4), 6-3 to advance to the round of 16 of the Rio Open clay court tournament. It was the 38-year-old’s first win in an ATP 500 competition since 2019.

Verdasco, formerly a top-10 player, is now ranked 172nd after a series of injuries. He will face Argentinian Federico Coria for a place in the quarterfinals.

“It is a very important tournament for me. It had been a long time since I last could play a tournament like this because of the surgeries I had in my elbow, in my knee,” an emotional Verdasco said after the match. “I want to be back among the best, play the biggest tournaments, the Grand Slams. These weeks in South America will add a lot.”

Coria eliminated the 5th-seeded player, Christian Garin of Chile, 6-2, 6-0.

Also on Tuesday, 8th-seeded Albert Ramos Vinolas beat Argentinian Juan Londero 6-3, 6-4. The Spaniard will face his countryman Pablo Andujar in the next round.

Argentina’s Federico Delbonis topped Colombia’s Daniel Galan 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. He will face 18-year-old Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz, the 29th-best ranked in the circuit.

Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego, the sixth seed, beat Laslo Djere of Serbia 6-2, 6-0. His round-of-16 opponent is Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic.

Another Italian, Fabio Fognini, overcame Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis 6-2, 6-4. He will face fourth-seed Pablo Carreno Busta on Wednesday.

Brazilian fans had their share of joy after Thiago Monteiro bested Argentina’s Sebastian Baez 1-6, 6-4, 6-4. The home-crowd favorite will play against top seed Matteo Berretini of Italy, ranked No. 6.

Norway’s Casper Ruud, the 8th-best-ranked, is also playing in the tournament. He will face Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo, who beat France’s Benoit Paire 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.

At French Open, Francisco Cerundolo is mad at chair umpire over Holger Rune’s double-bounce

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

PARIS – Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina was devastated about losing his French Open fourth-round match to Holger Rune of Denmark in a fifth-set tiebreaker Monday. He also was mad at chair umpire Kader Nouni for missing a double-bounce of the ball on a point that was awarded to Rune early in his 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (10-7) victory.

They were tied at a set apiece and on serve at 2-1 for the No. 6-seeded Rune early in the third at Court Suzanne Lenglen when the point of contention happened. Cerundolo, who was serving at deuce, hit a forehand that skidded low at the baseline and quickly bounced a second time – which normally would have meant that the point was his.

But Rune went ahead and got his racket on the ball, sending it back over the net. At about the same time, No. 23 seed Cerundolo was saying “sorry” to apologize for the odd way his forehand made the ball skim across the clay. Nouni was not immediately aware of the double-bounce, thought the ball was still in play and called Cerundolo for hindrance for talking during a point. That meant Rune got the point, and when he won the next one, too, he had a service break.

“It was unbelievable, because it was a clear double-bounce. I was mad at the umpire because he has to see it,” Cerundolo said. “It’s his fault.”

In tennis, electronic line-calling is used at many tournaments to make line calls, but replays are not used to check things like double-bounces or whether a point should be lost because a player touches the net, which is not allowed.

And while Cerundolo put the onus on the official, he also thought Rune could have ceded the point because of the double-bounce.

“For sure, I wish he would have done that, because it was a big moment,” Cerundolo said.

Rune, who moved into a matchup against No. 4 Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals, said he saw a replay after the following point, and “saw it was a double bounce. But the point already happened, and he called the score. So I felt sorry.”

But, Rune added: “This is tennis. This is sports. Some umpires, they make mistakes. Some for me; some for him. That’s life.”

Gael Monfils withdraws from French Open with wrist injury

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

PARIS — A thrilling five-set victory took a toll on Gael Monfils, whose withdrawal from the French Open handed No. 6 Holger Rune a walkover to the third round.

The 36-year-old Frenchman said he has a strained left wrist and can’t continue.

He battled Sebastian Baez for nearly four hours on Court Philippe Chatrier before beating the Argentine 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in a first-round match that ended at 12:18 a.m. local time.

The victory was Monfils’ first at tour level this year, as the veteran was coming back from heel surgery.

“Actually, physically, I’m quite fine. But I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve,” he said. “The doctor say was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely say I should stop.”

Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions.