Dominic Thiem survives big scare at Rio Open, but Fernando Verdasco crashes out early
Fernando Verdasco was a high-profile casualty in the first round of the Rio Open, but Dominic Thiem found a way to win.
Thiem, who lost the Australian Open final earlier this month, was far from his best against Brazilian wild card Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves.
However, he survived a scare to come out with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 win.
Experienced Spaniard Verdasco lost to countryman Pablo Andujar in straight sets, going down 6-3 6-3.
Cristian Garin, the third seed, almost followed Verdasco out of the Rio de Janeiro tournament early, but recovered to beat Andrej Martin.
The young Chilean lost the first set and had to hold his nerve in the second and then final set to come through 4-6 7-5 7-6 (5).
Argentina’s Federico Delbonis got the better of Roberto Carballes Baena 6-2 6-4 to set up an all-South American meeting with Garin in the last 16.
Federico Coria pulled off a remarkable comeback to beat Corentin Moutet, rallying from a 1-6 first set loss to ultimately take the match 1-6 7-6 (1) 7-6 (3).
Pedro Martinez also had to come back from a set down to claim a tight 3-6 7-2 7-5 victory over Hugo Dellien.
Wildcard Alejandro Fokina was made to earn his win against Thiago Wild in a three-set slog.
The pair traded momentum multiple times throughout the match, with Fokina just eking out a 5-7 7-6 (3) 7-5 victory.
And Carlos Alcaraz overcame fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-6 (2) 4-6 7-6 (2) to progress to the second round.
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