Tomas Martin Etcheverry played one of the best matches of his career to defeat fellow Argentine Francisco Cerundolo on Thursday at the Movistar Chile Open. The 23-year-old earned a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory on his fifth match point in Santiago to reach his second ATP Tour quarter-final.
Fuelled by a strong serving day and aggressive hitting off his forehand wing, Etcheverry scored the second Top 50 win of his career by beating the World No. 32. The good friends shared a warm embrace at the net following the match.
“Francisco is one of my best friends on the ATP and in life,” Etcheverry said after his two-hour, 28-minute victory. “It was an incredible match for me. I think I started with pressure because it’s hard to play with a friend. We know each other a lot. I made the difference in the first set when I got the break, and the same in the last set.”
Both of Etcheverry’s quarter-final runs have come this season; he also reached the last eight in Buenos Aires two week ago. After recording three tour-level wins in 2022, he has already notched five this season, including his Santiago first-round win against Fabio Fognini.
Next up for the Argentine is Dusan Lajovic, who defeated Francisco’s brother Juan Manuel Cerundolo 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(2) earlier in the day. In a dramatic conclusion to that match, Lajovic saved two break points at 4-4 in the third set, then missed out on a match point at 5-4 before losing serve to fall behind 5-6. The Serbian was able to break back to force a tie-break, in which he won all five of his return points to secure victory.
After Etcheverry edged Cerundolo, he was expecting another difficult test against the 32-year-old Lajovic: “Always here on the ATP Tour, all the matches are really tough,” he said, looking ahead to the pair’s first ATP Head2Head meeting.
Also on Thursday, third seed Sebastian Baez and sixth seed Laslo Djere advanced to set a Friday quarter-final meeting. Argentina’s Baez, a returning finalist, knocked off home favourite Cristian Garin 6-4, 6-3 to close the day’s play after Djere scored a 7-5, 7-5 win against Riccardo Bonadio in early action.
Baez and Djere are the lone seeded players remaining in the ATP 250 singles draw.