ATP Rio: Joao Fonseca impresses and writes history

Joao Fonseca bageled a top-40 rival in front of the home fans en route to a win

by Jovica Ilic
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ATP Rio: Joao Fonseca impresses and writes history
© Stream screenshot

The 17-year-old Joao Fonseca wrote history books at home in Rio, becoming the first player born in 2006 with an ATP win. The US Open junior champion met world no. 36 Arthur Fils on Quadra Guga Kuerten and earned a notable 6-0, 6-4 triumph in an hour and a half, cementing his status as the leader of his generation.

As we already wrote after his Challenger wins, Fonseca possesses a mighty forehand that worked like a charm today, outplaying a top-40 rival and making a name for himself. Joao fired 17 winners and 17 unforced errors, taming his strokes nicely and landing 16 service winners, combining his potent initial shot with reliable groundstrokes.

The Brazilian served at 54%, but no one could notice that, defending his second serve nicely and never facing a break point.

Joao Fonseca, Rio 2024© Stream screenshot

The young gun grabbed half of the return points against his pale rival and turned them into four breaks from nine opportunities.

Arthur missed a game point in the first game of the encounter with a loose forehand and got broken after Joao's backhand down the line attack and a backhand error. Fonseca drew another mistake from his rival with a reliable backhand in game two, cementing the lead and moving 2-0 in front.

Joao attacked on the return in the third game, landing a volley winner at the net and notching his second break that drove him 3-0 ahead. The Brazilian held at love in the fourth game, extending the gap and pushing strong again on the return in game five.

Joao Fonseca is the first player born in 2006 with an ATP victory.

Fonseca prolonged the fifth game with a backhand return winner and fired a forehand down the line winner for a break chance. Fils hit a double fault, losing serve for the third straight time, allowing the home star to serve for the opener at 5-0.

Joao landed a drop shot winner after deuce, wrapping up the first set in half an hour. Arthur denied a break point in the third game of the second set and remained on the positive side. Joao closed the fourth game at love with a booming serve and prolonged the next one to create two break points.

Fonseca squandered two break points in the fifth game, missing another opportunity to move in front.

Joao Fonseca, Rio 2024© Stream screenshot

The Frenchman struggled on serve for the third straight game at 3-3, netting a forehand and offering the Brazilian a break point.

The better-ranked rival sprayed another forehand error, losing serve and sending the young gun 4-3 in front. Joao landed two winners after deuce in the eighth game, confirming the advantage and moving closer to the finish line.

Arthur extended the battle with a service winner in game nine, and Joao served for his first ATP win at 5-4. The home favorite punched a powerful serve at deuce for the third match point and seized it after the rival's backhand error, celebrating a notable victory in front of the home fans.

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