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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday February 22, 2024


Joao Fonseca became the second-youngest ATP 500 quarterfinalist in history on Thursday in Rio.

Photo Source: TTV

Playing with unbridled, newbie joy, Brazil’s Joao Fonseca is making a big splash at the Rio Open this week.

The 17-year-old hit out with reckless abandon and brought the crowd to a frenzy early and often as he upset Chile’s Cristian Garin 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday at Rio to become the second-youngest 500-level quarterfinalist in history, since the series began in 2009.

Tennis Express

The wild card has yet to drop a set through two matches this week.

“I’m living a dream and I haven’t realized what I’ve achieved yet,” said Fonseca, who joined countrymen Thiago Monteiro and Thiago Seyboth Wild in the semifinals at Rio. “But I want to keep dreaming, I’m really happy with my path up until now but I want more.”

Fonseca is the fifth-youngest ATP quarterfinalist at any level of tournament since 2000, and the first player born in or after 2006 to reach an ATP quarterfinal.

He hit a bevy of sensational winners on Thursday, and broke serve four times from nine opportunities. The crowd ate it up, jumping to their feet in celebration of the dynamic play of Fonseca at regular intervals.

World No. 655 Fonseca has already surged 314 spots in the live rankings to 341. Last year’s US Open boys singles champion and a former junior No.1, Fonseca had never won a match at the ATP level prior to this week. He defeated France’s Arthur Fils in the first round.

With Seyboth Wild and Monteiro joining Fonseca in the last eight, Rio has three Brazilians in the last eight for the first time ever.

Fonseca will face Argentinian qualifier Mariano Navone next, while Sebyoth Wild will face defending champion Cameron Norrie and Monteiro will square off with No.5-seeded Sebastian Baez of Argentina.


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