Cuevas Continues Southpaw Streak In Sao Paulo
Uruguayan downs Monteiro
Pablo Cuevas dashed hopes for a homegrown winner at the Brasil Open by defeating Thiago Monteiro 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the quarter-finals on Friday. Cuevas beat the Brazilian for the second time in as many weeks after downing the 21-year-old wild card a few days ago at the Rio Open. With the win, Cuevas improved to 9-1 on clay and 10-0 against left-handers in 2016. The defending champion made history by defeating only lefties en route to the Rio de Janeiro title last week.
“I started the match very passively,” noted Cuevas, who saved six break points in the two-hour encounter. “I wanted to be calm, but I was a little bit off. But as the match went on, I found more intensity in my game, which helped me win today."
Monteiro, who beat three-time champion Nicolas Almagro in the first round, was appearing in his first ATP World Tour quarter-final.
In the semi-finals, Cuevas will face Dusan Lajovic, who finished strongly with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 win over qualifier Gastao Elias. Lajovic won 24 of 32 points in the deciding set to notch his first ATP World Tour quarter-final win (0-8 coming into Friday).
“I’ve played so many quarter-finals, and at one point thought it would never happen,” Lajovic said. “I got a bit tight in the second set and then I got angry with myself. But the whole third set I played really well.”
“I don’t remember facing [Lajovic] before, but I saw he has a nice backhand,” noted Cuevas. “Any player who is playing in a semi-final is there because he is playing well. My goal is to win and to play for the title on Sunday.”