RIO DE JANEIRO – Spain’s Pablo Carreno-Busta, the No. 4 seed and the 18th-ranked player in the world, was eliminated at the Rio Open clay court tournament, falling 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 to Fabio Fognini of Italy in a round-of-16 clash.
Fognini advanced to face Argentina’s Federico Coria in the quarterfinals. Coria beat Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4.
“There’s the feeling that I worked for this. I was fighting until the end,” Fognini said after the match. “This South American has always been my favorite place to be, so I am glad to be in the quarterfinals in Rio.”
Spain’s Pablo Andujar beat eighth-seeded Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-5, 5-7, 6-3. His adversary in the next round will be the No. 3 seed, Argentinian Diego Schwartzman, who played 24 minutes and 40 seconds to win the second game of the first set against Spaniard Pedro Martinez.
Schwartzman won the match 6-1. 6-1.
“It was unbelievable. This was probably the longest game in the history of the tournament, I don’t remember anything like this before,” the Argentine said. “I played an almost perfect match, I played against an opponent that had as much confidence as me.”
OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — American qualifier Alycia Parks is having quite the breakthrough tournament in Ostrava.
The 21-year-old Parks earned her first win against a top-10 ranked opponent by beating fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 at the Agel Open on Thursday to reach her first WTA Tour quarterfinal.
The 144th-ranked Parks ousted former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova in the opening round – her first win against a top-20 opponent – and showed off her power by hitting 59 winners against Sakkari, compared to just nine for her opponent.
“I came out here not expecting anything, just playing my game, and it got me through the match,” Parks said.
Parks will next face former French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, who advanced via walkover when Belinda Bencic withdrew with a left foot injury.
Caty McNally, another American qualifier who is playing doubles with Parks in Ostrava, also reached the last eight by beating wild-card entry Karolina Muchova 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. McNally is also into her first WTA quarterfinal and will face top-ranked Iga Swiatek, who advanced Wednesday.
ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Add Botic van de Zandschulp to the long list of players to have been schooled by Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic eased past Van de Zandschulp 6-3, 6-1 on Thursday in his first career meeting with the 27-year-old Dutchman to reach the quarterfinals of the Astana Open.
Van de Zandschulp earned one break point in each set but couldn’t seriously threaten Djokovic, who is looking for a second straight indoor hardcourt title after winning in Tel Aviv last week.
“(In the) second set I think I started to read his serve better and just started swinging through the court more,” Djokovic said. “Botic is a quality tennis player. When he has time, he can hurt you, so I tried to take away that time from him and I’m very pleased with the way I played, particularly in the second.”
Djokovic will next face Karen Khachanov, who rallied to beat Marin Cilic 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. If the 21-time Grand Slam champion gets past that one, he could come up against fellow former No. 1 Daniil Medvedev. The second-seeded Russian beat Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland 6-3, 6-2 to move one match away from a potential rematch of last year’s U.S. Open final, when Medvedev beat Djokovic to deny his attempt at a calendar-year Grand Slam.
Medvedev will first have to beat Roberto Bautista Agut, who advanced Wednesday.