Spain's David Ferrer continued his strong play in the Latin American clay-court swing, defeating Argentine Federico Delbonis 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinals of the inaugural Rio Open.
Delbonis rallied from a 3-game deficit and saved four set points to force a first-set tiebreaker, but Ferrer subsequently grabbed full command and cruised to victory in an hour and 26 minutes.
Ferrer's strong return game was the difference in Wednesday night's match at the Jockey Club Brasileiro, as he won half of the Argentine's service points and created 16 break points, converting four of them.
The world No. 4 is seeking his second straight title, having won last week's Copa Claro event in Buenos Aires.
Next up for the 31-year-old Spaniard will be Brazilian wildcard Thomaz Bellucci, who rallied Wednesday evening to upset seventh-seeded Juan Monaco of Argentina to the delight of the local fans.
Also advancing Wednesday to the Rio Open quarterfinals were a pair of Spaniards, Tommy Robredo and Pablo Andujar.
Robredo breezed to a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Serbian Dusan Lajovic, while Andujar moved into the final eight when Slovakia's Martin Klizan withdrew with an injury.
Another Spaniard, top seed and world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, will try to secure a berth in the quarterfinals when he takes on countryman Albert Montañes Thursday evening. EFE