For the second straight week on South American red clay, Federico Coria has knocked out the fifth seed at an ATP Tour event. One week after dismissing Dusan Lajovic in Buenos Aires, he upset Cristian Garin on Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro.
While the Argentine needed three sets to dismiss Lajovic, he took the express route at the Rio Open presented by Claro, leaving no doubt in a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Garin. Coria now owns a 2-1 ATP Head2Head record against the Chilean (all on clay), including wins in their past two meetings.
Garin has now lost in the opening round of consecutive tournaments (Cordoba). He won the first three points and the first game of Tuesday’s contest, but found little joy beyond that as errors crept into his game.
Despite winning just 33 total points, Garin did win the point of the match — and an early contender for point of the tournament — by chasing down a drop shot, retrieving an overhead and ultimately hitting a drop-shot winner of his own.
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That exchange came with Coria serving at 3-2. After those heroics at 15/15, Garin created his only two break points of the match. When he could not convert, it started a run of nine straight games for Coria.
The Argentine only got better as the match wore on, and finished in a flash by winning 14 of the last 15 points, and each of the last 10 in the one-hour, 16-minute match.
Coria will next face Fernando Verdasco, who was also an early winner in Rio with a 7-6(4), 6-3 decision over Lajovic. The 38-year-old Spaniard entered the event with a protected ranking and is seeking to build on a quarter-final run last week in Buenos Aires.
Federico Delbonis, who may go into the history books as the last man to face Juan Martin del Potro in his storied career, was a semi-finalist at the Argentina Open. One week after beating his countryman del Potro in the Buenos Aires opening round, he notched a Rio first-round win against Daniel Elahi Galan, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, to set up a second-round showdown against seventh seed Carlos Alcaraz.