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By Chris Oddo | Tuesday February 19, 2019


On Monday in Rio it rained cats and dogs. On Tuesday, it seemed that seeds were falling out of the sky.

Six of the seven seeded players in action were knocked out of the Rio Open—including top-seeded Dominic Thiem and second-seeded Fabio Fognini—and a deluge of rain mercifully called time with fourth-seeded Diego Schwartzman trailing Pablo Cuevas 3-0 in the first set.

Earlier on Tuesday top-seeded Thiem was the biggest name to fall, and he went rather quietly to Lasla Djere of Serbia 6-3 6-3.

Thiem, who fell in the semi-finals last week at Buenos Aires to Schwartzman, had neck issues and needed to see the trainer during the match, but he played on, winning less than half of his points on serve and falling in 80 minutes.


“He played a bit worse than normally I think, to be honest,” Djere told ATPWorldTour.com. “But I had a great day. I felt the ball really well, hitting well from the baseline and then attacking well when it was time for that. This is my favorite surface. So I know that I can play great tennis on clay.”

The victory was Djere's first Top 10 win. His previous best win by ranking was against No.21 Borna Coric last year at Gstaad.

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Fognini dropped to 3-5 on the season and 0-3 on clay in what has been a disappoing 2019 thus far when he was knocked off by 18-year-old Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, 6-2 6-3. The victory was Auger-Aliassime’s best career win by ranking. The Montreal native saved all five break points he faced in the one hour and 29-minute contest.

Because the of the win the Canadian is projected to make his Top 100 debut next Monday. He will face Chile's Christian Garin in a rematch of last week's first-round tilt at Buenos Aires in the second round.

Garin, who won that contest in three tight sets, defeated Maximilian Marterer 7-5 6-3 on Tuesday.


“You come here, you play the second seed, obviously you're not favored,” the Canadian told ATPWorldTour.com. “But you just believe in your tennis, you believe in your game. These wins, that's what you work for.”

Third-seeded Marco Cecchinato, last week’s Buenos Aires titlist, fell to Aljaz Bedene in straight sets, while sixth-seeded Dusan Lajovic was crushed by Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie 6-2 6-1.

Seventh-seeded Malek Jaziri went down to Federico Delbonis 6-3 7-5, while eighth-seeded Nicolas Jarry fell to Roberto Carballes Baena 6-3 6-7(5) 7-6(6). Jarry led 6-3 in the third-set breaker against the Spaniard.

It was that kind of day for seeds in Rio.

The lone seed to come away with a victory was Portugal’s Joao Sousa. The World No.40 defeated Guido Pella 6-4 3-6 6-4.

 

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