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By Chris Oddo | Saturday February 24, 2018

Diego Schwartzman

Diego Schwartzman booked a spot in the Rio Open final by taking out first-time semifinalist Nicolas Jarry in straight sets at Rio.

Photo Source: Buda Mendes /Getty

Diego Schwartzman rolled past first-time semifinalist Nicolas Jarry and into his first ever 500-level final at the Rio Open on Saturday. The Argentinean’s 7-5, 6-2 victory sets a final clash with Spain’s Fernando Verdasco in the title match on Sunday.

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It was a solid victory for the 5’7” Schwartzman, who won eight of the final ten games and needed just 77 minutes to take down the 22-year-old. Jarry, a 6’6” Chilean, entered the match playing the tennis of his life after reaching his first ATP semifinal with impressive wins over No.4-seeded Albert Ramos-Vinolas and No.7-seeded Pablo Cuevas.

He stayed with Schwartzman throughout the first set and even broke back for 5-all but World No.23 kept pressuring him and goaded him into long rallies whenever he could.

The second set was simpler for Schwartzman, who saved all three break points he faced and broke twice on four opportunities to cruise to victory.

Schwartzman will bid for his second ATP title on Sunday, and he’ll take a place in the ATP’s Top 20 for the first time no matter what result he achieves.

In the second semifinal from Rio on Saturday, Fernando Verdasco got past Fabio Fognini, 6-1, 7-5. The 34-year-old Spaniard is into his 23rd career final and first of 2018. Fognini never really found is groove in the match and it was the No.8 seed who made the most of his opportunities, breaking five times on six opportunities to surge to victory in 75 minutes.

Schwartzman owns the 1-0 lifetime edge over Fognini, having defeated the Spaniard on the red clay of Nice in 2016.


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