World number two Carlos Alcaraz had to come from a set behind to defeat Fabio Fognini 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-4 on Thursday to advance to the Rio Open quarter-final.
The 19-year-old phenom has now won all five of his matches in 2023 after winning last week's Argentina Open, and the 2022 Rio champion is now three wins away from defending his title at South America's only ATP 500 event.
Against Fognini, Alcaraz lost the first set despite creating 11 break point opportunities, as his Italian opponent converted all four of his own chances in a back-and-forth battle.
The Spaniard tightened up his service game down the stretch, only allowing Fognini one break point opportunity from the second and third frames combined, and he will now play Dusan Lajovic following his 6-2 6-4 win against Serbian compatriot Laslo Djere.
Rio resilience, Rio relief— ATP Tour (@atptour) February 24, 2023
WHAT a match as @carlosalcaraz escapes 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-4 past Fognini @RioOpenOficial | #RioOpen pic.twitter.com/yxgargkPP8
Chile's Nicolas Jarry is still yet to lose a set in the tournament, following up his impressive upset of third seed Lorenzo Musetti with a 6-2 6-2 triumph over Pedro Martinez.
Jarry will get a crack at another seeded opponent next when he takes on Argentina's sixth seed Sebastian Baez, who emerged victorious 7-5 7-6 (8-6) after two gruelling sets against Peru's Juan Pablo Varillas.
Fourth seed Francisco Cerundolo was eliminated 6-1 4-6 6-1 by Bernabe Zapata Miralles, who will meet Albert Ramos-Vinolas in an all-Spanish quarter-final after he fought off Daniel Elahi Galan 6-2 6-4.