Rio Open: Bedene ousted by Fognini

By Niall Clarke

  • Aljaz Bedene loses in the first round of the Rio Open
  • The British number two lost in straight sets to Fabio Fognini

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL- Aljaz Bedene is out of the Rio Open after suffering a first round defeat to Fabio Fognini.

The Italian was a break down in the opening set but found his way back to defeat the British number two 7-5, 6-3 in one hour and 35 minutes.

It was Fognini’s sixth straight victory over Bedene with the Brit unable to register a victory over world number 24.

There might be fears over the Zika Virus in the Brazilian capital but Bedene had enough problems of his own. Despite going a break up in the first set, the world number 51 could not close out the set. Bedene served for it but was broken back to love before losing serve again as seventh seed sealed the opener.

Once again Bedene went up a break in the second set, and again he could not hang on to it. Fognini broke back and just like the first set was able to overturn the deficit completely in Bedene’s following service game.

Both players came into the tournament on the back of three straight defeats, but only one of them could snap that losing streak. Like on the previous five occasions, Fognini proved too good for his British adversary and was able to serve out that match to claim a 7-5, 6-3 victory.

It is also the second time in three years that Fognini has ousted Bedene from the Rio Open. The Italian was victorious at this stage two years a go in a more competitive three set encounter.

Bedene is now winless since making the semi finals of the Chennai Open at the start of the season. His four match losing streak has seen the British number two’s ranking drop outside the top 50.

Fognini will move on to face either Juan Monaco or Daniel Gimeno Traver who are due on court this evening.

The Rio Open is headlined by Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer who are the top two seeds at the clay court event In the Brazilian capital. Buenos Aires champion Dominic Thiem and Jo Wilfried Tsonga are also participating in this weeks tournament. Fourth seed John Isner was upset by Guido Pella on Monday.

The Rio Open continues on Wednesday.