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Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Feb 21 – Local star Thiago Monteiro reached the second round at a tour-level event for the first time this season when he clawed past former champion Dominic Thiem 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(2) at the Rio Open here.
In a hard-fought clash in the ATP 500 event on Monday night, the home favourite raced out of the blocks, winning the first five games before sealing the set on serve.
After the former World No. 3 Thiem levelled scores by winning the second set 6-3, Monteiro held his nerve in the third set, saving all four break points he faced to advance after two hours and 46 minutes in their first ATP head-to-head meeting.
The 28-year-old Monteiro, currently No. 80 in the ATP Live Rankings, is making his seventh appearance at the clay-court tournament in Brazil, with his best result being a quarterfinal run in 2017. Monteiro will look to reach that stage again when he faces second seed Cameron Norrie or Argentine lucky loser Juan Manuel Cerundolo in the second round.
In other action on Monday, Nicolas Jarry earned the biggest win of his season when he upset World No. 18 Lorenzo Musetti 6-4, 6-1.
The Chilean qualifier, who advanced to the semifinals in Rio de Janeiro in 2018, was strong on return throughout the 74-minute clash, winning 65 per cent (15/23) of points on third seed Musetti’s second delivery.
Jarry will next meet Pedro Martinez. The Spaniard snapped a four-match losing streak when he overcame Chilean Cristian Garin 7-6(0), 6-4 in two hours and 27 minutes.
Slovakian Alex Molcan moved past Brazilian wild card Joao Fonseca 6-0, 6-3 and will next face Hugo Dellien after the Bolivian defeated Joao Sousa 6-0, 6-2. Dellien came through qualifying to reach the semi-finals in Cordoba earlier this month.