In the three ATP Tour-level tournaments being played this week, Rafael Nadal is being keenly watched at the Rio Open in Brazil. On Thursday, the top seed and defending champion defeated compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta 7-5, 6-3 to enter the quarter-finals. In the top half of the draw, three other players joined Rafa to complete the QF line-up in the ATP500 event. They were; Italian Fabio Fognini, Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas and the Argentine Federico Delbonis, who caused an upset by beating eighth-seeded Martin Klizan of Slovakia. At Delray Beach in Las Vegas, USA’s Donald Young continued his great run of the 2015 season with a victory over Colombia’s Alajandro Gonzales to reach his third QF this year. The other quarterfinalists at Delray Beach included; Taiwanese Yen-Hsen Lu, Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, American Steve Johnson, Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov, Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka and Australian Bernard Tomic. In Marseille, the QF line-up emerged on Thursday and making the round-of-eight were; Gael Monfils, Roberto Bautista Agut, Dominic Thiem, Jeremy Chardy, Simon Gilles, Sergiy Stakhovsky, Stan Wawrinka and Simone Bolelli, who caused a major upset by defeating no.1 seed Canadian Milos Raonic.
At Rio, former world no.1 Rafael Nadal met his compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta, who played an exemplary game to break Nadal for a 3-2 lead in the first set. But Nadal broke right back and earned three set points on Carreno Busta’s serve. The 23 year old Spaniard, however, saved all three break points and took the score to 5-5. Nadal was tenacious as he broke Carreno Busta’s service in the 11th game and after holding his own serve, won the first set 7-5 in 73 minutes. The second set was also a story of a break-point survival for Nadal but he held his nerves to win the set and the match 7-5, 6-3. For the place in the semifinal, Nadal will take on Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas, who is the last weeks’ title winner at Brasil Open in Sao Paulo. Cuevas defeated another Spaniard Albert Montanes 6-2, 6-2. Italian Fabio Fognini also reached the Rio quarterfinals by defeating Pablo Andujar of Spain. Fognini will have to get past Argentina’s Federico Delbonis for the place in the semifinal. Delbonis was the one, who cause an upset on Thursday by beating the emerging Slovak Martin Klizan 6-2, 6-1.
At Delray Beach, Frenchman Simone Bolelli caused a huge upset by ousting the no.1 seed and world no.6 Milos Raonic of Canada. In a hard-fought three-setter, Bolelli came through with a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 victory over Raonic. Joining Bolelli in the quarterfinal is American Donald Young, who beat Colombia’s Alejandro Gonzalez 6-3, 6-2. World no.56 Young emerged as a better player against Gonzales, who couldn’t find a foothold in the match. For the semifinal berth, Young will meet Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov, who defeated USA’s Tim Smyczek 6-2, 6-4 to reach his first quarter-final of the season. Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka also reached the quarterfinal at Delray Beach by defeating Australia’s Marinko Matosevic 6-1, 6-3. For a place in the semifinal, Nishioka will have to beat another Australian Bernard Tomic, who defeated the tournament’s eighth-seeded player Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-7, 6-4.
In the doubles matches at Delray Beach, second seed South African Raven Klaasen and Indian Leander Paes advanced to the semifinal by beating Treat Huey and Scott Lipsy. The 2015 season has been quite fruitful for Paes/Raven with a runners-up finish at Chennai Open and title win in Auckland.
In Marseille, Simone Bolelli caused a big upset by defeating top seed Milos Raonic 6-4, 3-6, 7-6. In a tenacious battle, Bolelli began by taking the first set 6-4. But Raonic leveled the set scores by taking the second set 6-3. The third set went to tiebreak, which Bolelli won 7-6 after a great deal of effort. Bolelli’s next match will be against compatriot Gael Monfils, who defeated Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov 6-3, 6-2. In other quarterfinal matches at Marseille; Stan Wawrinka, got past Frenchman Benoit Paire with a 6-2, 6-3 win; Gilles Simon of France defeated wild-card Borna Coric 6-2, 3-6, 6-3; Ausrian Dominic Thiem went through because his opponent David Goffinn retired due to illness; Roberto Bautista Agut defeated Canada’s Vasek Pospisil 7-5, 6-4; Jeremy Chardy defeated Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 6-4; and Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky defeated Germany’s Struff Jan-Lennard 6-1, 6-7 and 7-6.