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Rio de Janeiro: Fast-rising Austrian Dominic Thiem continued his strong run of form in South America, cruising to a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Spanish No. 2 seed and defending champion David Ferrer in the Rio Open quarter-finals here.
The 22-year-old Thiem, fresh off capturing his fourth ATP Tour title last weekend in Buenos Aires, will next take on Argentine Guido Pella in the first semi-final, reports EFE.
Thiem was superior to Ferrer in all aspects on Friday night, outplaying him from the baseline and seeming to sap some of the veteran Spaniard's fighting spirit with a series of points decided at the net.
The Austrian defeated 14-time Grand Slam champion and nine-time Roland Garros champ Rafael Nadal on his favoured clay surface en route to winning the Argentina Open.
After edging out Nadal in the semi-finals, he scraped past Spaniard Nicolas Almagro in the final.
Nadal, the 2014 Rio Open champion, could get a quick rematch in this year's final, however, if he can defeat Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas and the 19th-ranked Thiem gets past Pella.
The Rio Open, an ATP World Tour 500 event that is played at the Jockey Club Brasileiro and will pay out more than $1.3 million in total prize money this year, is the biggest men's professional tennis tournament played in South America in terms of ranking points. (IANS)