Tennis

Rio Open 2024: 17-year-old Joao Fonseca Makes ATP Tour History In Win Over Arthur Fils

Teenager Joao Fonseca from Brazil defeated seventh-seeded Arthur Fils 6-0, 6-4 at the clay court tournament in Rio de Janeiro and became the first 17-year-old tennis player to win an ATP tour-level match

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(Photo: X|Rio Open)
Brazillian tennis player, Joao Fonseca beats Arthur Fils at Rio Open 2024 to become the first player born in 2006 to win an ATP tour-level match on February 22, Thursday, 2024. (Photo: X|Rio Open)
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Joao Fonseca became the first player born in 2006 to win an ATP tour-level match when the 17-year-old Brazilian beat seventh-seeded Arthur Fils 6-0, 6-4 at the Rio Open. (More Tennis News)

Fonseca defeated the No. 36-ranked Frenchman in front of raucous fans at the clay court tournament in Rio de Janeiro. He knelt on the court in tears to celebrate.

"This is where I belong. I want to be in these huge stadiums,” said Fonseca, who won the U.S. Open boys singles title last year. “Now it is all about focusing on the process."

The Brazilian, currently ranked No. 655, is expected to jump about 200 positions after beating Fils. Fonseca said he is yet to decide whether he will play tennis for an American university later this year.

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“For now I am very focused in the pro-tour, I want to get to the top,” said Fonseca. “That is going to be a personal decision with my family, I won't make it public now,."

His opponent in the round of 16 will be Christian Garin of Chile.

Fonseca's victory brought some new energy for local fans, who saw three of the title favourites crash out Tuesday.

Carlos Alcaraz abandoned his match against Brazil's Thiago Monteiro due to an ankle injury; three-time major winner Stan Wawrinka lost to Argentina's Facundo Díaz Acosta in straight sets; and Chile's Nicolás Jarry was knocked out by Germany's Yannick Hanfmann in three sets.

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Fourth-seeded Francisco Cerúndolo of Argentina advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Spain's Albert Ramos-Viñolas 6-2, 6-1.

Rain later postponed to Thursday the match between second-seeded and defending champion Cameron Norrie against Chile's Tomás Barrios Vera for a place among the last eight.

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