17-year-old Joao Fonseca shines in Buenos Aires


17-year-old Joao Fonseca shines in Buenos Aires
© Stream screenshot

The 17-year-old Joao Fonseca is through into the last eight at the Buenos Aires Challenger. The young Brazilian, the reigning US Open junior champion, will compete in his third Challenger quarter-final, the first since April 2022.

Fonseca faced world no. 306 Murkel Alejandro Dellien Velasco in the second round and delivered a 7-5, 6-4 victory in an hour and 33 minutes. The young Brazilian defended his second serve nicely, fending off four out of six break points.

Fonseca earned five break chances and seized four, enough to seal the deal in straight sets. Joao displayed his lethal forehand, firing many winners and spraying errors en route to more reliable groundstrokes in the upcoming years.

Dellien Velasco netted a backhand in the encounter's first game and experienced a break point. Fonseca fired up his forehand, landing a down the line winner and securing an early advantage. A teenager cracked another forehand winner in the second game, earning three game points.

Joao Fonseca notched his third Challenger quarter-final in Buenos Aires.

Joao converted the third with a service winner, cementing the advantage and moving 2-0 in front. Murkel Alejandro hit a double fault in the third game, playing against three break points.

He hit another loose serve, getting broken for the second straight time and sending his rival 3-0 ahead. Joao had to dig deep in the fourth game, facing three break points and denying them with winners before bringing the game home with a service winner.

The young gun sprayed errors at 4-1, allowing Murkel Alejandro to grab a break at love and reduce the deficit. Fonseca held at 15 in game eight for 5-3 and served for the set at 5-4. The Brazilian netted a routine forehand, giving the Bolivian two break chances.

Dellien Velasco seized the first after a lucky net cord winner, erasing the deficit in the last moment and locking the result at 5-5. Joao stayed focused and created a break chance in game 11. He converted it after another bullet from his forehand, moving 6-5 in front and serving for the set.

Joao Fonseca, Buenos Aires 2024© Stream screenshot

Fonseca landed a service winner for two set points and painted a backhand down the line winner for 7-5 after 48 minutes. Like in the opener, Murkel Alejandro struggled on serve in the first game.

He hit a double fault and lost serve at 15, falling a set and a break down. The young gun served well in the next four service games, dominating with his forehand and landing a forehand winner in game eight for 5-3. Dellien Velasco prolonged the battle with a hold at 15 in game nine, and Fonseca served for the triumph at 5-4.

The young started the game with two service winners before wasting three match points. Joao hit a double fault and faced a break point, saving it with a backhand down the line winner. The young gun cracked a forehand down the line winner for the fourth match point, and his rival saved it with a powerful return winner.

Joao created the fifth match point and converted it with a forced error after a potent forehand, booking a place in the last eight.