The first seven ATP titles that Fabio Fognini had won came on the slowest surface but the world no. 16 certainly didn't play like a clay-court specialist during the Golden Swing. Following the first round losses in Cordoba and Buenos Aires (read match reports HERE and HERE), the 2nd seed in Rio de Janeiro has to leave the biggest South American event empty-handed as well after a tough 6-2, 6-3 defeat against an 18-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime in an hour and 29 minutes.
The youngster received a wild card (read more about that HERE) and he used it with both hands, saving all five break points he faced and winning 46% of the return points that guided him towards three breaks and the eighth ATP win.
Felix saved two break points in the third game with service winners and he dominated in the rest of the set, breaking Fabio with a forehand winner in game six and securing the opener with another break in game eighth for a 6-2.
The youngster fired a forehand winner in the fourth game of the second set to build the advantage, forcing an error from Fabio in game seven to save a break point and crossing the finish line at 5-3 after fending off two break points, celebrating the career-best win.
Playing against each other for the first time since Winston-Salem 2015, Aljaz Bedene took down Buenos Aires champion Marco Cecchinato 7-5, 7-6 in an hour and 51 minutes. The Slovenian couldn't find the first serve but that wasn't an obstacle for him, getting broken twice and stealing Marco's serve on three occasions to prevail in straight sets.
Aljaz drew first blood in the third game with a forehand winner before losing five straight points on serve in the following game, with Cecchinato pulling the break back with a forehand winner. Bedene claimed 12 of the last 13 points from 4-5, breaking Marco at love in game 11 and clinching the opener with a forehand down the line winner for ahold at love and 7-5.
A loose backhand cost Marco his service game at 1-1 in the second set, leaving Aljaz to serve for the win at 5-4. Out of sudden, the Italian broke back and he had the opportunity to grab the set at 6-5, wasting a set point after a service winner from Bedene who won the tie break 7-1 when Cecchinato sprayed a backhand error to enter the last 16.
Cordoba champion Juan Ignacio Londero qualified for the main draw and he ousted another qualifier Elias Ymer 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 in two hours and 13 minutes, prevailing in the closing stages of the second set and racing towards the finish line with a double break for his maiden ATP 500 win.
Cameron Norrie needed just 56 minutes to dismiss Dusan Lajovic, scoring a 6-2, 6-1 triumph after taking 60% of the return points and five breaks on his tally. Cameron broke in the second game of the match and again at 3-0 after a terrible volley from Lajovic.
Dusan pulled one break back in game seven before losing serve for the third time at 2-5, handing the opener to the Briton. Norrie never looked back and he secured the win with three winners in the seventh game of the second set for his seventh ATP win on clay.